“Public gardens instead of private jets”. It is the will of Julien Bayou, EELV candidate in the regional elections, if he is elected, to convert Paris - Le Bourget airport into a "gigantic park". Located seven kilometers from Paris, this business airport, the first in Europe, handles over 500 hectares over 50,000 rotations per year. It generates 3,500 direct and 9,000 indirect jobs. It also hosts the International Aeronautics and Space Fair every two years and houses the Air and Space Museum. In short, it is an asset for Seine-Saint-Denis, assure the elected officials of the sector.
"For the benefit of a few, we have privatized hectares that generate pollution and noise pollution", denounces Julien Bayou, this Sunday, who wants "in the next ten years" to transform the site by withdrawing its aeronautical activity. .
The candidate imagines the hangars and warehouses to accommodate the extension of the Rungis National Interest Market (Val-de-Marne), for the moment planned in the area of the triangle of Gonesse (Val d'Oise).
Another part of the airport would be devoted to training in the circular economy or agroecology.
As for the lawns and meadows surrounding the tracks, they could find a nourishing and recreational function with market gardening and leisure areas.
The Berlin example
Not serious, this proposal?
“The Berliners did it”, retorts Julien Bayou, relying on the recent history of Tempelhof airport, closed in 2008 and converted into a park, under the strong impetus of the inhabitants.
“There would be a good number of consultations to be done”, he concedes, recalling that “the decision to close an airport is ultimately the responsibility of the State”.
As for the costing of this project, it has not been established "at this stage".
“Depending on what is done or not, the budget will not be the same, recognizes Julien Bayou, dating this idea from the day when the Prime Minister announced that the extension of Rungis could be done in the triangle of Gonesse.
It is nonsense to artificialise soils there.
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This project is greeted with great skepticism.
First on the airport side, the president of the European Business Aviation Association, who qualifies it as "an election campaign that does not justify a reaction".
"I do not believe that we can close an airport like this, it creates jobs, commercially, it feels good", reacts a CGT union representative from Le Bourget.
The mayor (DVD) of the town denounces an idea "completely absurd.
"" In terms of its geographical location, it's not as if we didn't have a green lung nearby
(Editor's note: the airport is not far from the Georges-Walbon departmental park)
, recalls Jean-Baptiste Borsali.
And then, it would undermine the prestige of France.
This place is a source of pride.
"It is one of the only sectors generating employment in Ile-de-France and Julien Bayou wants to break it", indignant the honorary mayor of Bourget and senator (UDI) Vincent Capo-Canellas, also rapporteur of the budget of the 'civil aviation, denouncing "a provocation". And to wonder about the future of business aviation in the event of the Bourget closing: "It cannot fit into the traffic of mainline planes: planes fly lower and they do not have to. regular schedules, ”he describes.
More surprisingly, skepticism also resides in the president of the Association for the defense against air pollution (Advocnar): "We are in favor of all nuisance reductions provided that this does not generate a transfer of these nuisances to other residents. and other airports, considers Françoise Brochot.
What would become of the current traffic at Le Bourget?
Julien Bayou says he wants to "learn the lessons of the crisis": "The employment figures are in free fall.
At Roissy, a few tens of thousands of jobs are threatened, which is why we are thinking of offering transition courses.
And Aéroports de Paris could refocus its activities on its two other sites.