Subsidizing Environmental Destruction: One of Many Reasons Why ‘Aerotropolis’ is a Bad Idea

(click on image to open a downloadable PDF copy of the 4-page article)

(click on image to open a downloadable PDF copy of the 4-page article)

Rose Bridger has produced another excellent article, ‘Rise of the Aerotroplis’, published in the Sept/Oct issue of Third World RESURGENCE.

The concept of aerotropolis began roughly fifty years ago, when federal aviation agencies conceived massive new airport developments, scaled up and created in concert with elite private interests. The concept is euphemistically referred to as ‘collaboration’, but cynically (or, perhaps more realistically?) it is what we have come to call ‘crony capitalism’. Invariably, the victims include those who are forced to vacate their homes/farms, and the expanded zone of airport neighbors enduring excessively concentrated air traffic patterns.

The article looks at the emerging use of aerotropolis developments for global tourism, equating the phenomenon with massive cruise ships. A tourism model in which the operational scale simply overwhelms local communities, offering very little local benefit while creating large adverse impacts. All so that off-site operators may reap sizeable profits. In short, Aerotropolis is a classic example of how private rights and public welfare have become thoroughly subordinated by the power of money to manipulate captured regulators and elected officials alike.

Here are two quotes:

“An aerotropolis may proclaim itself ‘self-sustaining’, but it achieves this status only by virtue of being gifted the land for revenue generation, which is a form of subsidy.”
“The secret of success of the world’s established major aerotropolis developments – including Schiphol, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Incheon, Dallas/Fort Worth and Kuala Lumpur – is that the airport owns a large area of land surrounding it, and reaps ‘non-aeronautical revenue’ from commercial development upon it.”