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A Vicious Cycle: Government Force-Feeds Airport Expansion While Removing the Public from the Process

10/30/03 3:25:00 PM

To: National Desk, Transportation and Environment reporters

Contact: Alan Martin, 312-502-2201, or Jack Saporito, 847-506-0670

CHICAGO, Oct. 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The U.S. government has established a "pre-emptive strike" policy on airport expansions that threatens the very well being of its citizens without sufficient scientific and economic proof, according to a new report, "How Can the Government Justify Expanding Airport Capacity to Solve an Overcapacity Problem?" by Peter Martin and Alan Martin.

The report examines this question in detail, considering both the airline industry and the interactions of the airport industry, along with the "enablers": big business, politicians, and government agencies.

According to the authors, the supposed government protectors of the citizens, including the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), and Congress, are ineffective due to well-funded airline industry lobbies and political contributions. As a result, airline and airport growth is the priority, not citizens' health, safety, quality of life, nor adequate transportation needs.

There are solutions, such as high-speed rail, teleconferencing using high speed Internet service, fast ships, and "Wayports." Unfortunately, the authors say, the government has put constraints on them and has provided limited funding for high-speed rail to ensure it will not be competitive against the airline industry. Why is this, when it is well-known that in Europe, Japan and other countries, high-speed rail works? Why is it that European inter-modal transportation systems are perhaps decades ahead of the U.S.?

The numbers show existing airports are not major economic engines in driving future growth; why then is Washington pushing massive system expansion? According to the report, it's all about money.

The report's goal is to provide the reader with a solid basis of understanding of the many issues, challenge the reader to become better educated on significant airline/airport pollution & health problems, and to ask questions of their government representatives.

The entire report can be obtained by calling 630-415-3370 or free online at


/ 2003 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/


2003 U.S. Newswire