Greens condemn flawed airport consultation – Government pushes to make Manchester Airport the size of Heathrow

17th October 2002

Friends of the Earth – who are part of the national AirportWatch campaign against
unsustainable airport growth – have condemned the way in which the Department for
Transport organised a consultation event about their proposals to expand Manchester
airport to the size of Heathrow airport by 2030 [1].

Graeme Sherriff of Manchester FoE [2] commented: “This scale of expansion, which would
see the number of passengers triple at Manchester Airport and double the number of
aircraft movements, is simply unsustainable. They are now even considering the
construction of a third runway, and a fourth terminal and taxiways in the Greenbelt. Tens of thousands more people will be affected by aircraft noise, during the night as well; and the pressure on the road network and car parking will be enormous. It’s important people let their MPs know they are against the Goverment’s proposals.”

Friends of the Earth have also criticised the failure to offer the communities under the
Manchester Airport flight path anything other than a choice of different levels of massive
growth. No options to manage the demand at the airport to a sensible level were
presented to the public. The campaigns are also disappointed about the lack of publicity
for a recent consultation event – with notice being given only on the Friday (11th October)
before the Monday (14th) event – at an inaccessible venue, 25 minutes walk from the
nearest rail station. In practice, only car users could attend.

Frank Kennedy, Regional Campaigns Coordinator for FoE added: “You have to say that
this sort of consultation is a sham. No wonder the people FoE spoke to at the event –
almost all of whom deeply objected to these proposals – were completely disillusioned by
what they saw. They knew that they weren’t being offered a genuine choice, between
growth or no growth at the airport. It was simply a question of where a new fourth terminal, or additional parallel taxiways, might be located. No wonder the Government publicised it so poorly, and located it away from where most people could attend. They obviously have something to hide.”

For further information:
Graeme Sherriff (Manchester Friends of the Earth): 07905 790 426
Anthony Rae (Airport Watch): 01422 845061 / 07876 630528

Notes to Editors
[1] The Department for Transport has published consultation documents on the future of
the UK’s airports. These highlight massive growth scenarios for Manchester Airport.
[2] Manchester Friends of the Earth is a prominent pressure group, raising awareness and
lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group
consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and
individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on their website: Manchester Friends of the Earth is part of a national
network of local groups, affiliated to the national organisation (further information can be
found at