(13/11/03) Groenen willen vliegverbod/nachtrust van minstens acht uur

Tijdens een druk bijgewoonde en kwalitatief hoogstaande conferentie over geluidsoverlast vroegen de Groenen afschaffing van staatshulp voor de luchtvaartindustrie en van de nachtvluchten.

Commission should ban night flights and state aid

MEPs from the Green/EFA Group called today for the Commission to fulfil its role as Guardian of the European Community's treaties and protect the citizens of Europe by banning night flights and stopping state aid for airlines. Ten million Europeans currently suffer from noise disturbance at night and at a Green/EFA conference in the European Parliament held yesterday and today, nearly 200 people from the aviation industry, NGOs, the European Commission and academia met to discuss how to tackle the problem of noise pollution. Green MEPs addressed the press this morning to explain the outcome of the conference, and their plans for the future.

Dutch MEP Alexander de Roo, Vice-President Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer, said:
"We call for an immediate ban on night flights between 11.00pm and 7.00am at all airports in the European Union. This ban must be introduced across Europe to create an equal level playing field. We also want the night to last for at least eight hours for all European citizens."

Caroline Lucas, MEP for South-East England, said:
"NGOs in my constituency, where London Gatwick airport is located, have long accepted that they must work together to ensure that opposition to airport expansion in their region does not simply lead to expansion elsewhere in the country. This conference builds on the same principle of solidarity but at a European level. The current rapid growth in air traffic is due primarily to the cost of flying remaining artificially low. The Commission has accepted that this growth is unsustainable. We feel that by introducing laws to internalise the costs of air traffic – forcing airlines to pay for the costs of their emissions and noise pollution – demand can be managed and we can avoid recklessly increasing the number of European airports as is currently proposed."

Belgian Ecolo MEP Paul Lannoye said:
"The European Investment Bank granted €8bn in loans to the air transport industry between 1998 to 2002, and certain European regions give significant financial incentives to 'low cost' airlines. This thinly disguised state aid is detrimental not just to an open market – it effectively constitutes environmental 'dumping'. Therefore, I call on the Commission to clamp down on activities that distort competition and that contradict the EU's policies on sustainable transport and the protection of European citizens against harmful noise pollution."

Hiltrud Breyer, German member of the Parliament's Environment Committee, said:
"Noise has negative effects on the mental development of children. Their reading ability and long-term memory is being considerably damaged. A recent study has shown that allergies and respiratory diseases increase when children are subjected to a combination of emissions and noise. We cannot continue to neglect the damaging effect of noise on children's health."

Meer over het programma van de conferentie

GroenDe enige partij die sociaal én milieuvriendelijk is.

www.groen.be

De Groenen/EVAGroenen en Europese Vrije Alliantie in het Europees Parlement.

www.greens-efa.eu

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