Airports and the Environmental Burden of a National Status Symbol
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Airports and the Environmental Burden of a National Status Symbol

(Pieter Leroy) The Low Countries - 2003, № 11, pp. 160-167

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There was a time when airports were a focus of national pride. The biggest airport in Belgium is still called ‘Brussels-National', and no book on the history of the Netherlands fails to mention the building of Schiphol Airport on the reclaimed bed of the former Haarlemmermeer lake. Internationalisation, privatisation and the democratisation of air travel have since resulted in the large ‘national' European airports, in particular, increasingly developing into continental and especially intercontinental centres. Yet they still remain a source of national pride and hence airports and air traffic have to date been subjected to less rigorous environmental constraints than other economic activities. It is only very recently that they have been regarded as enterprises like any other when it comes to the environment; enterprises which, again like any other, must render public account for their environmental performance.

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