Government sticks its head in the sand over Isle of Grain airport plans

9 March 2012

Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for Kent and the South East has responded to the Chancellor's announcement today that the government "will explore all the options for maintaining the UK's aviation hub status" and comments from Michael Fallon MP, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and MP for Sevenoaks, who has said the government is "looking seriously" at proposals for a new airport in the South East.

Keith Taylor said: "The idea for a new airport on the Isle of Grain fails to make sense on any level. Last year the coalition government ruled out new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted, and now they're back with the latest daft idea."

He continued: "We've already had policy reviews which have concluded that building more runways in the South East is not a sustainable option. A new airport has been ruled out at Cliffe and looks very doubtful at Boris Island, and there are currently floundering applications to extend runways at Manston and Dungeness. It's a mess, especially when we think about the enormous environmental damage aviation is creating and its impact on climate change."

He concluded: "We need a grown-up assessment of airport capacity and demand which considers rising fuel costs, CO2 emissions, noise and air pollution as well as infrastructure links to other modes of transport."

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