On 9 August members of the Pan-Hellenic Association against the nuisance of the operation of airports ‘Environmental Harmony’ made a symbolic protest in the arrivals area of Athens International Airport.
Members of the Board of Directors, Municipal and Local Councillors and Citizens protested against the intransigent attitude of the Airport Administration and its choice of operating the airport in a way that doesn’t take care to protect the Public Health of the citizens of a whole city with thousands of residents. For two to three years, with the tolerance of the Municipal Authority and the State (Civil Aviation Authority and Ministry of Environment and Energy), no flight paths following the protecting instructions established with the cooperation of pilots, the former Civil Aviation Administration and our Association. These flight paths (eg TANGO) were adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and aimed at minimizing the impact on local residents.
Today they are almost abandoned and the airline’s preferred flight paths for reasons that relate solely to their profit, fuel economy and speeding up their routes are such that “cutting roads” pass over the main residential area (schools, churches, medical structures ), jeopardizing and posing a risk (in a possible accident), more than 16,000 of Artemis citizens (over 100,000 at summer), according to our calculations from air noise maps data. The impact on public health of residents from continuing exposure to aircraft noise (over 60-70 dB) and airborne pollutants emitted (micro-particles) as declared by the World Health Organization is disastrous.
During the protest, brochures on the subject of health and environmental impacts due to the operation of the airport were given to passengers.
Since the State, the Municipal Authority, the Ministry of Environment & Energy and the Airport are deaf and indifferent to these problems, the protests by the residents will continue inside and outside the airport, through their representatives at UECNA and the relevant European Commission’s Committee on Noise in Europe. The mobilizations will be repetitive, without warning and with different form and intensity at each time, until the citizens of this city become “VISIBLE» to the decision-makers.