VENICE: PLANS TO DOUBLE THE SIZE OF MARCO POLO AIRPORT
Big business interests put before local people and the environment
Cesare Rossi writes:
The Italian government headed by Matteo Renzi is about to approve the National Airports Plan prepared by the airport management companies and three economic research and consultancy organisations.
The Plan includes the master plan of Venice airport that proposes third and fourth runways, hotels, restaurants, shops, giant parking areas for planes and cars, highway and metro access and lots more. The new airport should be ready in 2030 but preparatory work has already begun
The airport management company, which also manages the airports of Treviso and Verona, has a target of 15 million passengers per year by 2030 (currently 9 million), involving 160,000 aircraft movements/year (currently 84,000).The master plan is backed by lobby groups to whom it will bring great profits (airport and affiliated companies that will manage the new parking, restaurants, hotels …).
It will be catastrophic for the environment: 30 hectares of land will be sealed with cement and asphalt, 2 km from the Park of the Northern Lagoon of Venice which includes the islands of Torcello, Burano, San Francesco del Deserto, Sant’Erasmo and the shores of Cavallino/Treporti. Properties will be expropriated and 20,000 people living in the area of the planned runways will be exposed to airport emissions and noise. These people will see 80-100 planes fly over their heads every day at heights of only 200-300 m.
Unfortunately these people have been kept in the dark about airport plans. The airport company has always played down the master plan, calling it a hypothetical project, unlikely to be built. Local government seems to have preferred to be deceived and has not opposed the idea of unlimited airport growth. Some time ago, some green organisations condemned the project and its consequences, but no action followed.
A small group of people living near the airport, who already live with unbearable levels of noise and pollution, are trying to organise meetings to inform and raise awareness in their fellow citizens, future airport victims, in order to mobilise against actuation of the master plan.
Our opponents are powerful and sustained by local speculators, but we are determined to do what we can, hopefully with help and advice from campaigners in other countries.
Citizens of Tessera, Ca’Noghera and Campalto against Acoustic, Atmospheric and Environmental Pollution from Air Traffic