21 April 2008

Gateway to the Nation or Gateway to Hell?

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has confirmed that it wants to open its second terminal in two years' time. But the group - despite its misleading name now a private company - has said its total debt burden will rise to over € 1.2 billion as a result of the development in the next three years.

The steel frame of the building for the second terminal (of which you can see a model here) is in place and work has commenced on an airport apron space forty times the size of Croke Park. But the cost of the airport's expansion will have to be partly met by the ordinary people using it. In future years passenger charges will rise by € 2.

Ryanair - in all fairness, but not entirely charitable - claims that the facility is "too big and too expensive". Quite right. But the DAA says it is "designed to meet a balance of needs" and is "a vital gateway to the nation". What nation, one has to ask? There is hardly an Irish nation left here, and all we have now is a mixed conglomerate not unlike the one you find in New York, with lots of ethnic groups and tribes who stick together, but no overall feeling of community and nation.

What surprises me is that this enlargement of Dublin airport happens at a time when we hear so much of "carbon footprints" and the ever worsening pollution of the Earth's atmosphere, leading to "global warming", other climate changes and irreperable damage to our planet.
Every aeroplane that flies contributes in a serious way to the problem. But instead of flying less and reducing the number of flights and airports, there is a constant global increase in air traffic, including in Ireland.

What the DAA calls "a vital gateway to the nation" could very well be soon a gateway to Hell.

Are we completely mad? Or bound on collective suicide for the whole human race? Or is this just another of the many Fianna Fáil scams, set up to make some rich builders and developers in the party even richer and more ignorant?

I don't understand it, and I deeply resent the whole development of air travel and the airline industry. So I have stopped using aeroplanes for good and will no longer fly anywhere. If I cannot get to a destination by other means of trabsport, it is probably not worth going there, and I won't.

The Emerald Islander

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