A few months ago, Leeds-Bradford airport’s authorities announced a plan to expand the facility. The changes would consist of the construction of a new “state-of-the-art” terminal. Although the airport’s bosses have assured that the new building would become one of the most environmentally friendly airport facilities in the whole UK, over 2,000 opponents of the project have serious doubts about it.
Many of those people, including the Vice President of the Leeds Trades Union Council, Kevin Pattison, are turning to Leeds City Council to remind the authorities about the plan that they are undertaking. The plan, which has been under consultation with specialists, assumed that the city of Leeds will become carbon neutral by 2030. The scientists, including experts from the University of Leeds, emphasise that the escalating number of passengers from the current 4 million to 7 million people by 2030 due to terminal upgrading (as it is speculated by LBA’s authorities), will destroy any chance at Leeds being carbon neutral by 2030.
If the redevelopment of the terminal actually takes place, the airport will be responsible for producing such an amount of carbon dioxide that it will wipe out the whole city’s plan much sooner than 2030. In his statement to the Council, Kevin Pattison points out that the changes will not only affect air pollution but also increase the noise and traffic congestion in the whole area.
What about the new job offers?
The Australian investment management company AMP Capital, which owns of Leeds-Bradford Airport guarantees that the expansion of the airport will open up the oppurtunity for a lot of job creation. Unfortunately the opponents of the developers’ plans aren’t optimistic. Mr. Kevin Pattison points out that despite the likely creation of new jobs, more and more employees are still being made redundant from the airport.
Leeds Trades Union Council has expressed concerns that the future jobs provided by the airport will be mostly low paid and run on zero-hours contracts. Such a solution will definitely not improve the economic situation of Leeds residents. The Leeds Trade Union Council believes that the city is able to guarantee its residents jobs of a much higher standard, which has already been proven by the example the Leeds based initiative of retrofitting houses as an environmentally friendly jobs creation scheme.
It should be emphasized that similar plans to modernise the airports were not allowed by the city of Bristol.
The Leeds Bradford Airport’s authorities are still waiting for their application to be considered by the Leeds City Council.
Image Credit: Leeds Bradford Airport