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C 51 E/230 Official Journal of the European Union EN 26.2.


(2004/C 51 E/249) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2246/03

by María Sornosa Martínez (PSE)
and Bárbara Dührkop Dührkop (PSE) to the Commission

(7 July 2003)

Subject: Complaint 2002/4893 SG (2002) A/7230/2 concerning the extension of San Sebastián airport
(reply from Spain)

In its reply to Written Question E-3417/02 (1), the Commission stated that, according to the information
provided by the Spanish authorities, neither the Spanish Ministry of Public Works nor the airport
authorities had submitted a plan to extend the airport up to that point (January 2003) or, therefore, any
environmental impact assessment on the effects of those works on the zones SCI ES-2120015 and IBA 37.

However, we note that the Spanish Authorities did not provide the Commission with the requisite
information, since the master plan for the extension of the airport was approved by Ministerial Order of
17 July 2001 and published in the Spanish Official Gazette of 7 August 2001, as the Commission can see
from the supplementary documents to Complaint 2002/4893 that were submitted by the Coordinadora
Contra la Ampliación del Aeropuerto.

How will the Commission intervene with the Spanish authorities to ensure it is provided with the
necessary information, in a full and truthful manner, to enable it to conduct a proper and urgent
investigation into this situation?

(1) OJ C 155 E, 3.7.2003, p. 151.

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-2245/03 and E-2246/03
given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(14 August 2003)

As the Commission indicated in its answers to Written Questions E-1701/02 and E-3417/02 by the
Honourable Members, it has asked the Spanish authorities to provide full information on the project in

In their latest reply, the Spanish authorities indicated that the purpose of the airport extension Master Plan
was to delimit the airport’s service area, this being required for the safe and efficient performance of
aviation activity and to ensure the airport’s chances of development. They also indicated that the Plan does
not have the same level of detail as a project.

The Spanish authorities have announced the launch of four projects relating to the parking of aircraft and
of vehicles, but not concerning the landing strip.

In principle, these extensions will not affect any protected sites.

Both for these projects and for the runway extension project, the Spanish authorities have announced that
an impact assessment study is to be carried out in compliance with Article 6 of Council Directive 92/43/
EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.

The Commission is currently examining the latest information sent by the complainants in June 2003.

The Commission takes the view that the Plan must comply with Article 6. Accordingly, as guardian of the
Treaties, it will ensure that Community law is observed in this instance.

In accordance with Article 13(3), the environmental assessment requirements of Directive 2001/42/EC of
the Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2001 apply only to plans and programmes of which (with
limited exceptions) the first formal preparatory act is after 21 July 2004. Since work appears to have
started already on the Master Plan, this Directive would not apply.