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Introducing environmental decision making
Introducing environmental decision making

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5 ‘Freedom to fly?’ A case study in aviation expansion

5.1 Introduction

This unit takes you through a case study in airport expansion. The aim here is to describe the decision-making process regarding airport expansion with a specific focus on the UK government’s December 2003 ‘Future of Air Transport’ White Paper (DfT, 2003a). From now on I will refer to this as the ‘Aviation White Paper’. This will allow you to engage with a ‘real life’ decision-making situation with environmental issues at its heart. The case study will provide you with an outline of the sequence of events and an interpretation of how they came about. Keep in mind, though, that its purpose is not to teach you about aviation and air transport but to provide you with a rich and complex example of an environmental decision-making process. Take care not to get side-tracked by delving too much into the detail of the case study material.

The principal narrative of this case study is presented as text, but this is supported with multimedia resources, including audio and video programmes, digital text, graphs and maps. The text is illustrated with cartoons by Vicky Thompson, a freelance artist. Vicky was asked to engage with the text of the case study, and produced an immediate, intuitive visual response.