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Friday, August 18, 2006

Campaign Against Climate Change (Scotland)

Campaign Against Climate Change (Scotland)

NO DEBATE ABOUT THE AIRPORT

We had hoped to organise a public debate to hear arguments for and against the planned expansion of Aberdeen airport. BAA had organised 'consultation meetings' at the beginning of this year, as they were obliged to do by law, but many local residents in Dyce told us that a large number of them were hard to access (either during working hours or not close to the flight path). Also, they were not public meetings, but road shows. I attended one of them and was immediately met by four BAA members of staff giving me leaflets and pointing me to the exhibition and video - not, in my view, a set-up which would help anybody to ask critical questions!

We therefore invited BAA to send a speaker for a public debate, so that more people would be able to make an informed decision about this important planning application.

BAA have now advised us that they are not prepared to take part in such a debate: "We will not be taking up this offer as our position on the runway extension and future growth of the airport is already very mucha matter of public record." They did send us further details of what their position is and suggested that people might like to read the Environmental Impact Assessment report in the planning department at St Nicholas House (or order a summary from BAA).

Airport expansion in Aberdeen will have serious implications for climate change, and will affect nearly 10,000 people who live under the flight path, and who will be exposed to more frequent noise in future. Wherever people stand - it's a major planning proposal which will affect a lot of people, and which deserves full public discussion. People hear contradictory statements from us and from BAA: We warn of rising greenhouse gas emissions, BAA say that airport expansion would reduce those emission and benefit the environment. A public debate could have brought out all the facts and figures and helped residents decide whom they believe.

We greatly regret BAA's refusal to take part in such a debate.

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