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Extension of the Nice Airport, France


In 2018, Aéroport de la Côte d’Azur announced a new project for the building of a new jetty (for middle-2021) and a new terminal (for 2022/2023) [2] to increase the capacity of the airport of 4 millions passengers per year to attain 18 millions in 2023 [1], and finally 21,6 millions in 2030 [7] (according to the file submitted by the airport, i.e. +50% in passenger traffic between 2019 and 2030).

The project was immediately opposed by local residents and environmental organisations – especially the Collectif citoyen 06. The mobilisation took place mainly online and during the public consultation put in place by the French local authorities about the building permit at the end of 2019. [5] However, the French government said that the project was “coherent” and the authorities granted the permit [4]. Two organisations – France Nature Environnement Paca et Alpes-Maritimes and Capre 06 –  technically supported by the Collectif Citoyen 06 [3] to challenge the permit before the administrative court of Marseille and the case is pending [6].

Numerous arguments were brought against the project. First, it would have a negative impact on the climate because of the increase in greenhouse gas emission [6] and the disturbance of the fauna – especially protected birds – in the protected area near the airport [7]. Second, it would have an impact on the residents for the increased air traffic [3] and the increased road traffic near the airport [4]. Most of these concerns were raised in the report of the public consultation [5]. Moreover, an impact assessment report stated that the current airport was ‘compatible with the increase of the global demand’ [3]. The 'Mission régionale d'autorité environnementale' criticised this impact assessement for being incomplete on the environmental impact of the project [8].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Extension of the Nice Airport, France
State or province:Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Location of conflict:Nice
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Other
Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Land
Tourism services

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Aéroport de la Côte d’Azur's project consists of building of a new jetty (for middle-2021) and a new terminal (for 2022/2023) [2] to increase the capacity of the airport of 4 millions passengers per year to achieve 18 millions in 2023 [1].

Project area:2.5
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:400 000
Start of the conflict:01/07/2018
Company names or state enterprises:Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur from France
EDF Invest from France
Monaco from Monaco
Atlantia S.p.A. from Italy
Relevant government actors:- préfet des Alpes Maritimes (local government representative)
- Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Nice (local public entity aiming at helping the economic sector), co-owner of the airport
- local authorities, co-owners of the airport
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- Collectif citoyen 06 /
- France Nature Environnement Paca et Alpes-Maritimes
- Capre 06

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Noise pollution
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases


Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Development of alternatives:The opponents ask for the cancellation of the project.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The project is still ongoing but it could be cancelled by the court.

Sources & Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[8] "Avis de la Mission Régionale d’Autorité environnementale de Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur sur le projet d'extension du terminal 2 de l'aéroport Nice Côte d'Azur", Mission Régionale d’Autorité environnementale de Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, 2019.

[1] "Nice: L'extension de l'aéroport (et son impact environnemental) en question", 20 minutes, 04/11/2019 (online: last assessed 24/03/2021).

[5] "L'aéroport de Nice décroche un permis de construire pour son extension", Batiactu, 03/01/2020 (online: last assessed 24/003/2021).

[4] "Extension de l'aéroport de Nice : le gouvernement trouve le projet "cohérent"", France 3 Provence Alpes Côtes d'Azur, 04/11/2019 (online: last assessed 24/03/2021).

[2] "Lancement des projets d'extension du Terminal 2", Aéroport Nice-Côte d'Asur website, 28/06/2018 (online: last assessed 24/03/2021).

[6] Après Roissy, les opposants à l'extension de l'aéroport de Nice réclament aussi l'abandon du projet, France bleu, 12/02/2021 (online: last assessed 24/03/2021).

[3] "Nice : un projet d'extension de l'aéroport vilipendé par des associations", Le Point, 26/02/2020 (online: last assessed 24/03/2021).

[7] "Extension de l’aéroport: le Collectif citoyen 06 interpelle Christian Estrosi dans l'espoir de faire arrêter le projet", Nice matin, 08/08/2020 (online: last assessed27/03/2021).

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Pearltree page of the Collectif citoyen 06 (opposing the project). /

Meta information

Contributor:Clarisse Mace



Nice airport

"Environnement: des associations s'opposent au projet d'extension de l'aéroport de Nice", BFMtv, 05/02/2020,