Mayotte, France

03/11/11

The project concerning the runway extension at Mayotte Airport, which has been under investigation since 2003, was submitted to the National Commission on Public Consultations (CNDP). Whilst it is being presented as an asset for economic development and tourism, this extension would have disastrous impacts on the island's ecosystem. This is even more serious as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers this site as one of the 34 hot spots of world biodiversity, i.e. a site where biodiversity is being jeopardised by anthropological activity.

In 2011, Surfrider Foundation Europe and Gildas, the Keeper, participated in the public consultation initiated by the Ministry for Ecology and organised by the National Commission on Public Consultations (CNDP). 21 public meetings were held in the course of this process. At the same time, the Keeper and SFE issued a press release, highlighting the reasons for their opposition to the project.

Following the outcome of the public consultation released by the CPDP (Special Commission on Public Consultations) in February 2012, the contracting authority (the Directorate General for Civil Aviation) had three months to publicly announce their decision on whether to pursue the project. The State decided that further investigations were needed in order to collect more information on the two competing scenarios. It seems that the initial plans to open the new runway by 2015 have been compromised.

On the 27th of June 2013, the Mobilité 21 committee issued a report listing more than 70 infrastructure projects in France within the framework of the French National Transport Infrastructure Scheme. As a result, and due to budgetary constraints, several projects including that of the runway extension at Mayotte Airport, have been postponed until 2050. For the Keeper and the association, this is a victory over an environmental absurdity.

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Coastal Development
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