All of these proposed extensions to airports in the South Coast are going to put more and more people under busier and busier flight paths. The aviation industry is the fastest growing contributor to pollution in the UK. The aviation industry is one of the most under regulated pollution causing industries. This status must change.
Many of the new routes that are going to be used will be above schools. Nitrous Oxide one of the many pollutants given off by air traffic has been identified as a leading cause of asthma in children. A frequently citied reason for welcoming the extensions by local politicans is that it will bring new jobs. But the experience of the Gate Gourmet workers should serve as an example of the type of jobs and conditions that are available.
The idea that more planes in the skies makes life better for us all as we will increasingly be able to fly to more exotic places is untrue. The routes that are opening up are to more of the same places. For example Shoreham - why are more flights needed to Paris, Dublin and Edinburgh? These flights are not for the oridnary people of the greater Brighton area, they are for business people flying to places they could easily use the train to get to if it was more sensibly run.
Earlier this year, Southampton Airport published their draft Masterplan, a document that outlined how they saw the airport in 2015, and 2030.
Currently, the airport handles around 1.5 million passengers a year on around 37,400 flights. The proposals are to handle 3 million by 2015 (62,000 flights), and 6 million by 2030 (96,300 flights). This is more than double the expansion envisaged for Southampton in the Government's Aviation White Paper, under which BAA Southampton was obliged to draw up the document, although in February the White Paper itself was challenged by the High Court, which ruled that there were flaws in the procedures used in its creation.
With three schools and a huge residential area in the airport's flight path, it is not hard to see why there is opposition. When Bitterne Park Residents Association organised a public meeting at the secondary school, over 300 people attended, and they were frequently reminded as to why they were there by the repeated interruptions from overhead. Beyond the noise, however, aviation is the fastest growing source of emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides, both key contributors to global warming. The Government is committed to a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Tyndell Climate Centre has recently shown that if aviation continues to grow at its present rate, it will account for all of the UK's permitted carbon quota by 2037. Other environmental concerns, such as asthma amongst children in the flight path, have also been raised.
The draft Masterplan will be revised in the light of responses to the consultation carried out. So far, Hampshire County Council has given the project a cautious welcome. Eastleigh Borough Council has set out a list of conditions which have to be fulfilled before they could consider approval, and are to make separate representations to the Government regarding the content of the White Paper. Southampton City Council has, to our surprise and delight, stated that the proposals are unacceptable in their present form, and the most they will accept is more modest growth aimed purely at the business market.
The deadline for responses to the draft Southampton Masterplan has passed, but you will be able to respond to the revised Masterplan when it is published some time next year, and to make representations to Eastleigh Borough Council if and when BAA applies for planning permission.
Indy Reports:  
Rather than spend money on improving the existing rail networks the government has approved the expansion of the small local airport. Erinaceous Group Plc has recieved the go ahead to launch new flights to such far away places as Paris, Edinburgh and Amsterdam. These are routes that should be much more effectively served by high -speed train connections. Rough Music, a Brighton based zine, has commented on its opposition to the greenwash of the local council citing local councillor Don Turner as saying: "A viable working airport offers the best protection of the strategic green gap between Shoreham and Lancing". The irony of greenwash statements like this, is that they ignore global impacts of the proposals. So what if there is a green gap between Shoreham and Lancing if it is all under water in fifty years because of the increased air traffic. Learn more about the local protests at: [www.adurcare.wanadoo.co.uk] [Old Reports] [Rough Music]
London Ashford (lydd)
The involvement of a Saudi Arms dealer in any business should have most people worried. But not seemingly Micheal Howard the local MP supporting this airport expansion project. Citing the tired excuse of the airport creating jobs Howard is backing this airport. This is an environmentally disastrous project. In this case the expansion threatens a wide range of local habitats. The RSPB have published a press release with more details available here: www.kentnet.org.uk/laag/press_release_14april05_rspb.htm
The airport is promoting itself as "Lydd Airport is the environmentally acceptable and safe solution to runway and airspace congestion in the Southeast". How this claim can be made in the face of the testimony of so many environmental commentators is unbelieveable. The promotional material also makes advantage of the situation in the "Garden of England" failing to note the damage the expansion of the airport will have on that Garden. Greenwash is becoming a more common tool of major corporations. In a glaring example of double speak an airport is being presented as a solution to environmental problems. www.kentnet.org.uk/laag/
National Airport expansion protest group
All this has lead to growing protests bringing together local protest groups with environmental campaigners. Aviation expansion will inevitably result in more noise and pollution for local communities. Aviation is also the fastest-growing contributor to climate change.
The next protest will take place next week. On 28th, 29th and 30th November, the aviation industry is holding a major conference at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in the Aldwych in London. It brings together top people in the industry from around the world to talk about the opportunities for expansion. It will be the focus of protest. On the Tuesday evening, there will be a very public protest. Conference delegates will be having a gala dinner at a venue on Tower Bridge. People opposing airport expansion are invited to stroll across the Bridge from about 6.00pm onwards. Evening dress optional!
Airport Pledge You can sign the aiport pledge at www.airportpledge.org.uk.
Older News from Heathrow but still relevant due to the impact London airports have on capacity in the Southcoast. 
Chris Bluemel, Chris Blake, Doopa, John Stewart