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Monday, April 07, 2003

On April 4th the UK's Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott MP, approved the redevelopment of RAF Finningley, near Doncaster, as a new international airport.

Commenting on this decision Friends of the Earth Finningley campaigner Anthony Rae said:

"This decision makes a total mockery of the Government's airport consultation. We are only halfway through the process and they are already approving new airports. The Government even admits the new airport is not needed, but it has been given the go-ahead to encourage economic growth around Doncaster. This is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.

"The Government's own computer forecasting models show that, with proper taxation of air travel, we do not need any new runways or airports at all. We are not disputing that Doncaster needs new investment and new jobs. But there are better and more sustainable ways to achieve this than a new airport."

Paragraph 55 of the Government's decision letter states that "the Secretary of State, accepts that there is no pressing need for the airport in terms of airport capacity. The justification for the development is in its relationship with the development plan, in these circumstances it unnecessary to wait for the White Paper before taking a decision on this application"...