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New Terminal of the Paris Roissy Airport


In 2018, ADP - the French company managing the Paris Roissy Airport - approved a project to build an entirely new terminal - the Terminal 4 - to increase the capacity of the airport by 40%. The building works were planned to last 20 years but a partial opening would have taken place just in time for the 2024 Paris Olympic [1].

As soon as the project was made public, it was attacked for its negative environmental impact and the nuisances it would cause for the nearby inhabitants. A citizen movement - called Collectif Non au Terminal 4 - was created and local associations and inhabitants as well as environmental activists joined the fight. The mobilisation included online posts, protests and petitions. On the 3rd October 2020, around 350 activists protested peacefully in the airport and 87 managed to go on the tarmac[6]. Some were arrested and their trials are pending [4].

Numerous arguments were brought against the project. First, the new terminal would increase the emissions of the airport by 15 millions tons of CO2e [6]. The air sector is already responsible of 5,9% of the current greenhouse gas emissions so a decrease of the air traffic is necessary to reduce the impact of climate change [9]. Second, the airport as it currently is would be able absorb the projected increase of air traffic without any problem, so that it would not be overloaded when the new terminal would start to operate [3]. Third, nearby residents would suffer from an increase in pollution and sound nuisance.

On the 11th of February 2021, the French government decided to abandon the project, judging it "obsolete" regarding its environmental impact and the decrease of air travel since the start of the covid pandemic [5]. Nevertheless, the government asked ADP to work on a new terminal project and stays in favor of a future increase of air trafic at Roissy airport [7].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:New Terminal of the Paris Roissy Airport
State or province:Île-de-France
Location of conflict:Roissy-en-France (95716)
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

In 2018 the company managing the Paris Roissy airport - Aéroport de Paris - launched studies to build a terminal 4 to welcome 30 to 40 millions passengers per year [3]. The construction was planned to last 20 years but the first part of the project was supposed to be finished before the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The project should have costed between 7 and 9 billions euros [1].

The projects was criticised from the start for its ecological impact and the uncertain future of the aviation sector.

Level of Investment:8,000,000,000.00
Type of populationUnknown
Start of the conflict:01/02/2018
End of the conflict:11/02/2021
Company names or state enterprises:Aéroport de Paris (ADP) from France - ADP would have benefited from the construction of the new terminal on its airport.
Relevant government actors:the French government, who is a big shareholder of ADP
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- Non au Terminal 4 de Roissy
- Greenpeace France
- Alternatiba
- ANV-COP 21

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Ecological activists (including XR)
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Introduction in the building and tarmac of the Airport


Environmental ImpactsPotential: Genetic contamination, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Noise pollution
Health ImpactsPotential: Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Violations of human rights


Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Project cancelled
Development of alternatives:On top of the abandon of the project, the opponents asks for the prohibition of the building of new airports and of the extension of all existing airports. They also supported the proposition of the ‘Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat’ – the citizen assembly conveyed by the President to put forward measures to fight climate change – to eliminate all national flights for which a train journey of less than 4 hours exists [6]. The president Macron committed himself to take the propositions of the Convention without any filter but he did not.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The project was totally abandonned by the French government [1]. However, the CEO of ADP announced that the government asked him to prepare another project [7].

Sources & Materials

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

[9] "Il n'y a pas que le CO2 - Le transport aérien doit réduire tous ses impacts climatiques", Stay Grounded, 10/2020 (online: last assessed 20/03/2021).

[2] "Roissy : des militants écologistes s’introduisent sur le tarmac de l’aéroport", Le Parisien, 03/10/2020 (online: last assessed 26/02/2021)

[3] "ADP prépare le terminal 4, la dernière grande aérogare de Roissy", La Tribune, 05/03/2018 (online: last assessed 26/02/2021)

[1] "Aéronautique : abandon du projet de terminal 4 à Roissy", France 2 & France info, 11/02/2021 (online: last assessed 26/02/2021)

[3] "ADP prépare le terminal 4, la dernière grande aérogare de Roissy", La Tribune, 05/03/2018 (online: last assessed 26/02/2021)

[6] "Vents contraires sur l’aviation : retour sur les mobilisations du 3 octobre", Alternatiba, 06/10/2020 (online: last assessed 17/03/2021).

[8] "Non à l’extension de l’aéroport de Roissy : une bombe climatique et sanitaire", Advocnar, 20/12/2020 (online: last assessed: 20/03/2021).

[3] "ADP prépare le terminal 4, la dernière grande aérogare de Roissy", La Tribune, 05/03/2018 (online: last assessed 26/02/2021)

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[7] Video "Club de l'Économie | Défense, aérien, à quoi ressemblera la sortie de la crise ?" from 1:03:50, Le Monde, 11/03/2021 (online: last assessed 17/03/2021).

Facebook page of the movement against the new terminal

Meta information

Last update22/03/2021



87 activists on the tarmac of Roissy Airport

Photo of the 87 activists who managed to go on the tarmac of the Paris Roissy Airport on the 3rd of October 2020.

Project of the Terminal 4

A model of the terminal 4