Manhattan airport

2009-07-24

in Economics, Politics, The environment, Travel

An idea so comically bad, one suspects it is an elaborate (and not especially amusing) bit of satire: turning Manhattan’s Central Park into an airport.

Firstly, the last thing the world needs is more airports. We need to be aggressively cutting our greenhouse gas emissions, not building infrastructure that will encourage more.

Secondly, the supporters of the project who describe Central Park as an “underutilized asset,” “relic,” and part of a “vestigial prewar cityscape” are probably not speaking for most New Yorkers. Land that has been set aside for green space is precious stuff. Quite probably, people in the megacities of the future will regret that nobody in the past gave up some development opportunities to give them the equivalent of New York’s Central Park, or Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

Thirdly, there is the matter of the noise that aircraft landing and taking off would produce. The design for the airport shows two runways going north-south along the eastern edge of the former park. That wold mean having planes approaching and leaving over areas of dense high-rise development.

Fourthly, there is the seriousness that a crash would have, if it took place in such a densely packed place.

Fifthly, there is the air pollution that results from jet exhaust. Increasing the level of criteria air contaminants like sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), lead (Pb), and ground-level ozone (O3) isn’t a great idea in such a densely populated area.

I doubt the scheme has the slightest chance of success, but it is still disquieting that there are people out there so hell-bent on development that they would consider and propose such a thing, then produce a slick website which includes the laughable assertion that environmentalists are ‘rallying in support” of the plan, because it will employ’ active prevention bird strike programs.’ Absurd.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

. July 24, 2009 at 7:13 pm
emily July 25, 2009 at 1:17 pm
emily July 25, 2009 at 1:23 pm

It is also cited in Wikipedia as a hoax.. Though, the group hasn’t admitted that it is.

They may be the Colbert of the development industry.

Tristan July 26, 2009 at 2:57 pm

I felt it was immediately obvious that it was a hoax. Anyone seriously in favour of such a project would use more careful, less inflammatory language to put it forward.

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