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Airports

French government cancels Grand Ouest project

18 January 2018
Protestors against the new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, pictured on 17 January 2018 after the French government announced it was scrapping the project. Source: Getty

The French government is scrapping controversial plans to build a new airport to serve Nantes in western France, after strong (and occasionally violent) opposition from local activists and environmentalists.

The government began to consider a new airport for Brittany in the 1970s, with the potential to host trans-Atlantic Concorde flights – but the announcement by Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on 17 January appears to have killed the Grand Ouest Airport project.

In 2000, the government announced plans to build a greenfield replacement for Nantes Atlantique Airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, 20 km north of the city and 35 km south of Rennes.

Formal approval followed in 2008. A 55-year management and development concession was awarded to the VINCI Airports-led Aéroports du Grand Ouest consortium, which also includes the Nantes Chamber of Commerce and Industry and industrial development group ETPO-CIFE.

Having pulled the plug on Notre-Dame-des-Landes, the government must now consider paying compensation to VINCI Airports. This could reach EUR350 million (USD428 million).

The original plans, for two runways and a terminal on 1,450 ha of farmland at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, were scaled down to a single runway and 900 ha. The terminal would have had capacity for up to nine million passengers per year. Surface access to Notre-Dame-des-Landes would have included a dual-carriageway road and a rail link.

Preliminary work on the site began in 2012 but barely any progress has been made because of the strength of opposition – local residents, farmers, and environmentalists confronted police on a regular basis, and protests sometimes turned violent.

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RELEVANT PROFILE LISTINGS

  • DEL BAJIO INTL

    BJX/MMLO AIRFIELD REF PT.: N20 59.36 W101 28.51 CFR : 0 MAX RWY LENGTH : 11,480' 3,499 m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 13/31, 11,480' 3,499 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt, PCN 74 F/C/X/T. AIRFIELD OPERATOR : Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico, Km 5.5 Carretera Silao-Leon 0, Col. New Mexico Silao,

  • HEWANORRA INTL

    UVF/TLPL AIRFIELD REF PT.: N13 43.99 W060 57.16 ELEVATION : 14' 4m CFR : 8 MAX RWY LENGTH : 9,000' 2,743m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 10/28, 9,000' 2,743 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt. RUNWAY LIGHTING : Rwy 10: MIRL, single row CL, PAPI.Rwy 28: MIRL, PAPI. NAVIGATION AIDS : VOR/DME

  • ISFAHAN INTL

    IFN/OIFM AIRFIELD REF PT.: N32 45.03 E051 51.40 ELEVATION : 5059' 1542m CFR : 0 MAX RWY LENGTH : 14,425' 4,397 m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 8R/26L, 14,425' 4,397 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : Rwy 8L/26R, 14,425' 4,397 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt. ALTERNATIVE NAME(S) :

  • MALABO

    SSG/FGSL AIRFIELD REF PT.: N03 45.18 E008 42.31 ELEVATION : 76' 23m CFR : 0 MAX RWY LENGTH : 9,646' 2,940m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 05/23, 9,647' 2,940 m, width 151' 46 m, concrete. RUNWAY LIGHTING : LIRL, REIL, PAPI. NAVIGATION AIDS : VOR-DME (Malabo, ID MBO, 114.5 KHz, 1.0 nm); NDB

  • SHIRAK

    LWN/UDSG AIRFIELD REF PT.: N40 45.01 E043 51.33 CFR : 0 MAX RWY LENGTH : Ft M General Information SURFACE : Runway ID Ft M WidthFt WidthM Surface PCN AIRFIELD OPERATOR : Armenia International Airports (CJSCZ), Vartnots International Airport, Gyumri, Armenia. PHONE : +374 10 49 30 00 FAX :

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