Aéroport du Grand Ouest

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The Grand Ouest Airport, or Aéroport du Grand Ouest Project was a project for a new airport, to be situated 30 km (20 mi) to the north-west of the French city of Nantes in the commune of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. It was intended for the new airport to replace Nantes Atlantique Airport as the airport for Nantes, but also to serve as an international gateway for western France.[1]


The €580 million project was approved in February 2008, with construction expected to start in 2014 and an opening date in 2017.[2] Initially the airport was planned to have a capacity of four million passengers a year, increasing to nine million by 2050. This compares with the current capacity at Nantes Atlantique of three million passengers a year, a capacity that it is claimed cannot be increased because of the proximity of the airport to the city centre (a distance of only 8 km (5 mi)).[1] Opponents claimed that Nantes Atlantique can increase its capacity to 4 million passengers a year.[3]

The new airport was planned to have two runways, and to be linked to the French motorway and rail networks.[1]

The airport was met with strong opposition, notably led by The Greens, Ségolène Royal and Arnaud Montebourg, even though the French Socialist Party supported it. Also various groups have set up numerous protest camps and squats around the area that will be built upon known as the "ZAD" (acronym of "Zone to Defend").[4]


A consultation was organised 26 June 2016 at the request of the French government. The population of Loire-Atlantique approved the transfer of Nantes Atlantique Airport in the town of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Official results (communicated by the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique):[5]

Favourable towards new airport 268 981 55.17%
Unfavourable towards new airport 218 537 44.83%
Votes cast 487 518 100.00%
Blank vote 3112
Null vote 2851
Voters 493 481 51.08%
Abstention 472 535 48.92%
Registered 966 016


On 17 January 2018, prime minister Edouard Philippe announced that the airport project was definitively cancelled.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "New Notre Dame des Landes Airport, Nantes, France". airport-technology.com. Retrieved 2008-07-24.[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ "Calendrier Previsionnel". Aeroport Grandouest. Archived from the original on 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2011-03-19.
  3. ^ (in French) La nécessité d’un nouvel aéroport prend du plomb dans l’aile - Libération du 18 novembre 2012
  4. ^ Zone A Défendre zad.nadir.org, retrieved 14 January 2018
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-06-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Helen Massy-Beresford (Feb 20, 2018). "France Faces Key Questions As It Shapes Future Airport Strategy". Aviation Week & Space Technology.

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