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Opponents to the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport (France)

Last modified: 2015-04-06 by ivan sache
Keywords: notre-dame-des-landes |
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The Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport issue

The Grand Ouest airport is expected to be inaugurated in 2017 on a site located 30 km north-west of Nantes and 80 km of Rennes. The airport will be established on the territory of four rural municipalities, Notre-Dame-des-Landes, Vigneux-de-Bretagne, Grandchamp-des-Fontaines and Treillières. However, the airport is colloquially known as the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport.
The airport should replace the Nantes-Atlantique airport, deemed obsolete and saturated.

The project of Grand Ouest airport was declared of public utility by a Decree published on 10 February 2008 in the French official gazette. Five appeals against the project were declared null and void by the State Council. The Decree of 29 December 2010 approved the convention signed by the French state (General Directorate of Civil Aviation, DGAC) and the concessionary society Aéroports du Grand Ouest (AGO), set up by the private company Vinci (civil engineering), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Nantes and ETPO (Entreprise de Travaux Publics de l'Ouest). The concession would include the airports of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, Nantes-Atlantique and Saint-Nazaire-Montoir. The DGAC and AGO signed a contract for a duration of 55 years, starting on 1 January 2011.
The project is supported by the local territorial collectivities (Regions Pays de la Loire and Bretagne; Departments of Loire-Atlantique, Vendée, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe, Ille-et-Vilaine and Morbihan; Intermunicipal Authorities of Nantes-Métropole, Rennes-Métropole, Région Nazairienne et de l'Estuaire, Région de Blain, Erdre-et-Gesvres), which formed in 2002 the Syndicat mixte d'études de Notre-Dames-de-Landes, renamed in 2011 Syndicat mixte aéroportuaire (website).

The project of Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport quickly gave rise to a strong opposition. The economical and ecological relevance of the project was questioned. Several opponent's associations were set up by farmers at risk of eviction, by inhabitants of the neighbouring villages and by local elected representatives. Occupation camps were organized on the site to stop the advance of the work. Street demonstrations organized in Nantes gathered thousands of opponents. A main target of the opponents is Jean-Marc Ayrault, former Mayor of Nantes (1989-2012); Representative of Loire-Atlantique (1986-2012; 2014-) and former Prime Minister (2012-2014), a warm supporter of the new airport, soon nicknamed "Ayrauport".

Ivan Sache, 16 June 2014



Flag of ACIPA - Image by Ivan Sache, 16 June 2014, after photos taken on 15 April 2012 in Nantes

ACIPA (Association citoyenne intercommunale des populations concernées par le projet d'aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes) was founded on 16 November 2000 in Notre-Dame-des-Landes.
ACIPA uses a yellow flag with the association's emblem in the middle, made of the black letters "ACIPA" over a red slanted stripe.


ACIPA protest flag - Image by Ivan Sache, 16 June 2014

Protestors often use a white flag charged with the protest emblem designed by the ACIPA (photo).
The emblem is a yellow disk with a red border, charged in the middle with a black plane taking off and the writing "Notre Dame des Landes - 44 " (red) and "AEROPORT NON !" (black).

Ivan Sache, 16 June 2014

Other protest flags

[Flag]       [Flag]       [Flag]

Protest flags - Images by Ivan Sache, 16 June 2014

White flags charged with a black plane inscribed in a red ring and crossed out by a red stripe are commonly used in demonstrations (photo, Nantes, 17 November 2012; photo, photo, Nanates, 22 February 2014). The protesters are invited to stencil the logo, available online, on a white sheet, which explains the variations in the arrangement of the plane (pointing upwards, hoistwise or flywise).


Protest flag - Images by Ivan Sache, 16 June 2014

The flag is also used with a red background (photo).

Ivan Sache, 16 June 2014