Initiators of the Petition and their message

Initiator Dr. Susanne Heger

Dr. Susanne Heger is a co-founder of the Citizens’ Initiative against Aircraft Noise in Vienna West; she is a professional attorney at law. In 2006 her law firm filed a complaint with the EU-Commission on behalf of numerous Citizens’ Initiatives in the area of Vienna Airport because of the illegal expansion of the airport. The proceedings lasted over several years and finally came to an end on 12th March 2013 with a resolution of the European Parliament following a special report of the EU-Ombudsman. The resolution confirms that the expansion of Vienna Airport infringed the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. But the EU-Commission did not apply any sanctions and Vienna Airport continues to operate as normal, promoting itself worldwide in order to be able to make full use of its extra (illegal) capacity.

“As an attorney in a democratic legal state I am deeply concerned about the way aviation is developing. The promotion of aviation has risen to the level of a political dogma, the state of law has been subordinated to the aviation industry and the authorities and mass media have largely been brought into line in favour of aviation. The lack of rights of those who have to bear the disadvantages of aviation is inacceptable for me.”

Initiator Dr. Jutta Leth

Dr. Jutta Leth is a specialist in psychiatry, psychotherapy, geriatrics and an expert in environmental medicine. In her home community, which was founded in the year 900 and is located right next to Vienna Airport, she has been fighting for the interests of her fellow neighbours as a member of a Citizens’ Initiative for almost 20 years. This region is one of the most densely populated areas of Austria and is faced with a completely oversized expansion of Vienna Airport. Since 2005, Jutta Leth has been chairperson of an umbrella association of Citizens’ Initiatives of Vienna, Lower Austria and the Burgenland which joined forces in order to prevent the construction of the third runway. In 2012, together with an attorney at law, Jutta Leth filed a lawsuit against the Republic of Austria and Lower Austria on the basis of threatening damages to health and the depreciation of property by this project. After a positive decision by the European Court of Justice the case is again for the Austrian courts to decide.

“As a mother and a doctor, I am shocked by the arbitrary behaviour and the bias of public authorities which recklessly put at risk the physical health of a whole region for the realisation of a project which is neither economically nor ecologically acceptable and against every bit of reason in relation to climate protection and voracious consumption of land. I am therefore fighting for protecting our environment and preserving it for the coming generations in a health promoting manner. I am fighting for competent citizens to organise themselves, to represent their own interests and to adopt an effective defence against current aviation policy which is completely out of date and surrenders to aviation lobbyists.”