17TH CHAPTER - CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORIZES THE THIRD RUNWAY TO BE PUT INTO OPERATION
On September 27th, 2004, the General Management of Civil Aviation authorized the third runway of the El Prat airport to be put into operation without complying with many of the requirements that were established by the D.I.A.
A) What is the General Management of Civil Aviation (D.G.A.C.) ?
B) When did the ‘DGAC’ authorize the third runway ?
C) Indignation in Gavà Mar, pushing forward with the legal battle
A) WHAT IS THE GENERAL MANAGEMENT OF CIVIL AVIATION (D.G.A.C.) ?
||The General Management of Aviation (DGAC) is the organization through which the ‘Ministerio de Fomento’ exercises the management and planning of civil aeronautic politics. The ‘DGAC’ is regulated by article 10 of the Royal Decree 1476/2004, from June 18th.
|Among the duties that are assigned to it the following are included:
- The analysis and reporting of planning proposals for new airport infrastructures
- The certification procedures for air navigation systems, for communication and aeronautic and airport information related with the determination and credentials for its conditions of use
- The approval of master plans for airports
B) WHEN DID THE ‘DGAC’ AUTHORIZE THE THIRD RUNWAY ?
On October 22nd, 1999, The Master Plan for the Barcelona airport was approved by ministerial order, which includes the construction of the third runway (07R-25L) parallel to the existing runway 07-25 which would be called 07L-25R (main runway)
On January 9th, 2002, the General Secretary of the Environment formulated the Declaration of Environmental Impact (D.I.A.) for this master plan.
Once the runway was constructed:
- The Ministry of Defense released a report in favor of putting the third runway into operation; an obligatory report according to the law 31/2003 of Air Safety.
- The Interministerial Commission made up of the Ministry of Defense and ‘Fomento’ approved the new flight procedures for the opening of the third runway
- AENA sent a document to the General Secretary of the Environment certifying the fulfillment of the requirements set by the D.I.A. to begin operation of the third runway
AENA then completed a petition in favor of operating the third runway, enclosed with a fulfillment of requirements certification and applicable security obligations.
The DGAC examined the characteristics of the third runway to certify its conditions of use according to civil aviation standards.
On September 27th, 2004, the DGAC decided to AUTHORIZE the third runway to start operating along with its associated taxiways starting September 30th, 2004, according to the approved operating conditions and the procedures that are prominent in the corresponding aeronautic publications.
This resolution was published on the ‘B.O.E.’ (Spanish Official Gazette) on September 29th, 2004
-September 29th, 2004 (Authorization of the third runway)
C) INDIGNATION IN GAVÀ MAR, PUSHING FORWARD WITH THE LEGAL BATTLE
The DGAC believed that the third runway could begin operating even though at that time, with regards to the conditions fixed by the ‘D.I.A.’ and the obligatory fulfillment :
- The 'CSAAB' had not drawn up the control plan for the management of takeoff and landing operations
- The exit and entry routes that conform exactly with the trajectories approved by the 'CSAAB' had not been published in AIP Spain
- The sound meter network was not operational
- Obviously the operational follow-up program and sound control based on this sound meter network was not operational either.
- AENA had not presented nor had 'CSAAB' approved the follow-up of trajectories graph system
- AENA had not presented nor had 'CSAAB' approved the information protocol, which guarantees that the members of the 'CSAAB' have access to air control information or information of pilots that have not complied with trajectories or the approved profiles of ascent
- The ‘NAPD’ anti-noise takeoff procedures, applied to calculate sound prints, were not obligatory for pilots and air controllers working in the Barcelona airport
BECAUSE OF ALL OF THIS, THE ‘D.G.A.C.’ SHOULD NOT HAVE AUTHORIZED THE THIRD RUNWAY TO BEGIN OPERATING.
The City Council of Gavà, on November 30th, 2004, presented an administrative contentious appeal requesting the precautionary suspension of landing on the third runway in the EAST configuration.
|The ‘TSJM’ (High Court of Justice) denied it, but after the City Council of Gavà´s appeal, they issued a judicial decree which forces AENA to maintain cautious measures such as those taken by the same AENA. These measures consist of not using the third runway for landings:
- nor Saturday afternoons
- nor Sunday mornings
| - TSJM Judicial Decree (May 13th, 2005)
This is a small victory because it entails that the same defendant (AENA) recognizes the necessity to apply some precautionary measures.
At the same time, AVV Gavà Mar presented a criminal charge against all those responsible for putting the third runway into operation
- Definitive criminal charge interposed by AVV Gavà Mar
This charge was accepted in the Courts of El Prat de Llobregat:
- Acceptance of the criminal charge (Courts of El Prat)
The District Attorney of the Environment (José Joaquín Pérez de Gregorio) started proceedings and sent a team of ‘Mossos d'Esquadra’ to investigate
- News broadcasted on TV3 on November 20th, 2004 (The district attorney investigates)
The results of the report done by the ‘Mossos d'Esquadra’ are overwhelming and they show that the residents of Gavà Mar are in the right:
Among other irregularities, the ‘Mossos d'Esquadra’ found out that the Environmental Impact Report had 97 pages; however, when AENA transcribed it into the Environmental Impact Declaration, they ended it at page 65, which is where the company CEDEX begins their arguments against AENA’s interests (31 pages out of 97). In these pages it is made very clear that the noise of the airplanes would produce significant affects on the area of Gavà Mar.
After studying the report done by the ‘Mossos d'Esquadra’, the District Attorney of the Environment (José Joaquín Pérez de Gregorio) also decided to request to close the third runway to landings in the EAST configuration flying over Gavà Mar.
On November 15th, 2006 the names of the three people imputed in our criminal complaint were made public:
- Jaime Alejandre: General Director of Environmental Quality-Ministry of the Environment
- Manuel Bautista: General Director of Civil Aviation of the ‘Ministerio de Fomento’
- Manuel Azuaga: President of AENA