Chance for a say on airport expansion

PEOPLE concerned about the increasing number of aircraft filling the skies over Suffolk are today looking forward to having a say in the future of the region's largest airport.

PEOPLE concerned about the increasing number of aircraft filling the skies over Suffolk are today looking forward to having a say in the future of the region's largest airport.

The public inquiry into the expansion of Stansted airport, which would be bound to further increase the number of planes flying over our county, is to start in a week's time.

Now protesters representing a large number of interests are preparing to show the strength of feeling against a substantial expansion of the airport.

If permission is granted the number of flights will increase by nearly 25,000 a year - that is 63 flights a day - and the number of passengers would increase by 10 million a year.

If current flightplans remain unchanged that would inevitably mean more disruption for people living underneath.

More contrails will obscure the summer sun and more noise will disturb the peace of the countryside.

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The Evening Star's Air Fair campaign has highlighted these issues which seem to have been ignored by authorities until we started asking questions about the increasing use of our airspace.

There are clearly many issues that will need to have to be considered by the public inquiry over the next few weeks and months - people from Suffolk will be anxious to ensure that their concerns are heard during the inquiry.

TED Vickery and Bernard Sharp are living reminders of the importance that we never forget the sacrifices made during wartime.

As young men they both celebrated their 21st birthdays on the beach at Dunkirk. Now they are celebrating their 88th birthdays by visiting the Little Ships of Dunkirk who will be visiting Ipswich Waterfront at the weekend.

The second world war was the defining event of the 20th century. It was a long and bitter conflict that rid the world of an appalling political dogma.

However it is now rapidly fading into history. Those who played an active role in the conflict are now very old. But it is vital that their actions are never forgotten.

Dunkirk was not a military victory - but it was a logistical success and ensured this country still had an army that was able to continue the fight during the darkest hours of the war.

People like Ted and Bernard deserve the gratitude of everyone who has followed them - without the sacrifice of millions of people like them we would not enjoy the benefits of living in a free world today.

MOST football fans in Suffolk are blue to the core, but tonight normal allegiances will be temporarily put to one side and most of us will be cheering for the Reds.

While a few die-hard Evertonians or Manchester United fans may be cheering for Milan, the overwhelming majority of English fans will be hoping Liverpool can repeat their European Cup heroics of two years ago.

And of course we will all be hoping that the fans in Athens celebrate in the right way and bring credit to the country and their city.

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