Airports for the community — Proceedings of the Sixth World Airports Conference

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Text of Airports for the community — Proceedings of the Sixth World Airports Conference

  • CAN. J . CIV. ENG. VOL. 8. 1081

    Airports for the community - Proceedings of the Sixth World Airports Conference

    Received April 1 . 198 1 Manuscript accepted April 7, 198 1

    Airports.for the cotntnltnity - Procredirlgs of the Si-rtll World Airports Cor~fi~rc,rlce. Institution of Civil Engineers, London. 1980. 128 p.

    Can. J . Civ. Eng., 8. 304 (1981)

    Occasionally, a conference takes place that provides a comprehensive examination of an issue at a given point in time. Such was the Sixth World Airports Con- ference (held in June 1979 in London, England) and the proceedings of that conference, entitled Airports for the Community, provide a valuable record of that exam- ination. The participants in the conference included many of the world's leaders in the aviation industry. People from many parts of the world with diverse pro- fessional backgrounds met to discuss the theme, that is the interaction of the airport with the community it is to serve. The presentations were extremely true to the theme and provided a consistency and logic making the progression from one paper to another easy and natural. This continuity is a credit to both the organizers and the participants of the conference.

    The papers progress from the general to the specific while examining the issue of airports in the community from a wide 'variety of perspectives. In his opening address, N. Foulkes, chairman of the British Aviation Authority, spoke to the theme and perhaps expressed many of the frustrations of the airport authorities in dealing with the community in 1979:

    The community will not thank you whatever you do. If you expand your airport the community will object to thc noise. If you don't expand it the community will tell you that it is grossly overcrowded and a living hell at peak times. If one town is declining and another is prospering the former will object to a decline in air services, the latter will object to an increase in noise and to the increased cost of building a new terminal.

    Following this opening, K. Hammerskjold (Inter- national Air Transport Association) and R. W. Simpson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) examined the regulatory and technological environment of the future world of aviation. This latter paper would appeal to any reader who has even a casual interest in current and future aviation technology.

    The conference then moved on to examine the gov- ernment framework in which the aviation network and

    the airports system operate. This is a particularly good section of the proceedings wherein a wide variety of nations describe contrasting strategies in operating and regulating airports. This topic should be of particular interest to Canadians at this time in view of recently announced initiatives by the Government of Canada to decentralize airport administration.

    From here, the conference turned to more local issues associated with airports and the community it serves. Airports were examined from regional planning, eco- nomic, and environmental perspectives. To complete this discussion, the Baroness Burton of Coventry spoke on behalf of the users of the system. The conference concluded by dealing with specific issues related to the airport itself including matters such as general aviation, airport facility requirements, air cargo, and air naviga- tion aids.

    In summary, Airports for the C o m m u n i ~ records the proceedings of an excellent conference wherein the theme is examined through a variety of related issues from many points of view. A conference sometimes serves simply as an exposition of technical knowledge and experience by a very specialized group. This con- ference was different in that the participants represented a wide variety of geographic and professional back- grounds dealing with a single issue. As a result, the papers take on a largely general rather than technical flavour. This in turn results in the book having a wide appeal. People having a professional interest in air- ports, be they engineers, planners, public adminis- trators, or airport operators would likely find the book of considerable interest. The strength of the conference in accurately reflecting its theme at this point in time will doubtlessly result in it having a lasting appeal.

    J . DAVID INNES Departmetit of Civil Engineering,

    University o f New B ~ ~ I I I S W ~ C ~ , Freclericton, N .B . ,

    Canada E3B 5A3

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