O-oh, He's a Little Runway
The Bush administration wants to speed construction of more runways at major airports in the U.S. by streamlining reviews of their environmental impacts. The Federal Aviation Administration has done an about-face and now argues that more runways offer a quicker solution to airport gridlock than updating air-traffic-control computers. But the current process of obtaining federal and state environmental permits for new runways can take 10 years or more. A report by Congress’s General Accounting Office has found that the time delay does not always lead to better environmental protection. Enviros, however, are in a tizzy about the idea of speeding up runway approval. Marty Hayden of the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund said, "Streamlining is a code word for either truncating or waiving environmental laws and reducing or eliminating meaningful public participation."