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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006, 12:04 GMT
Greens condemn airport expansion
Aberdeen Airport
The expansion is aimed at increasing international flights
Plans for a major expansion of Aberdeen Airport have been heavily criticised by the Scottish Green Party.

The airport is set to lengthen the runway to accommodate larger planes flying to more distant destinations.

The consultation ends on Friday but there are now calls for this to be extended.

The Greens said any expansion would increase noise, congestion and pollution, but operator BAA believes it is the way forward.

It is all part of a vision of how the airport will grow over the next 25 years, creating hundreds of jobs.

It would not only damage the health and quality of life of local residents but would also cause irreversible environmental damage
Shiona Baird
Scottish Green MSP

Shiona Baird, Green MSP for North East Scotland and the party's spokesperson on energy, has registered her formal opposition to plans for the expansion.

She said: "I am concerned that local people have not had adequate opportunity to scrutinise these plans over the course of a few poorly publicised consultation events that were held recently.

Economic doubts

"No-one should be misled into believing that such a massive expansion would not have a catastrophic impact on the environment."

The MSP said the area around the airport already suffered from noise and traffic pollution, and any expansion would increase this, with an adverse effect the health of local residents.

She added: "Nor is there any economic case for increasing capacity at the airport, as most of the proposed new flights would be used by people taking holidays and therefore spending their money outside the local area."

'World class'

Andy Flower, Aberdeen Airport's managing director, said: "This is a very exciting time for Aberdeen Airport.

"Securing an extension to our runway will ensure we can continue to grow and offer people a greater range of international destinations from their local airport.

"We know that some sections of the community have expressed concerns about the expansion and we appreciate we face challenges ahead as we work hard to minimise any negative impact on the environment from our growth.

"However, we are committed to doing so in a responsible and sustainable manner."

Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) is also backing the expansion plans.

Geoff Runcie, chamber chief executive, said: "Aberdeen Airport's ambitious plan supports the vision to become a world class destination for business and leisure visitors."

Runway extension plans unveiled
28 Nov 05 |  Scotland

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