An air of balance

1st June 2001 at 01:00

Written by Ken Webster, this heavyweight resource pack deals with a range of issues in aviation and the environment. It is intended for work in the areas of economics and business, geography, general studies and key skills post-16.

The materials have been produced by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-UK) in association with the Aviation Environment Federation, British Airports Authority and British Airways.

The resource pack has a wide range of source materials and viewpoints that represent the environmental perspectives of both the aviation industry and related pressure groups; in particular, it contains material that relates to the debate on "aviation, the environment and sustainability".

The growth in airlines, tourism and air cargo forms a business case study, while geographers can focus on airport location and assessing the impact on local communities in terms of infrastructure, noise, local pollution and traffic congestion.

The section "Airports as Towns", for example, contains a series of mapping exercises that are related to Heathrow; these are based on aerial photographyand Ordnance Survey data.

Students can plot transport links, settlement patterns and noise impact and are provided with what they need to carry out their own environmental impact assessment.

The pack includes a very useful data bulletin in floppy disk format, containing WWF statistics and graphs on pollution and environmental hazards. There are also tasks and assignments and a teachers' guide as well as suggested Internet links that enable students to take their research further.

As an additional resource, teachers are referred to a free video, A Matter of Balance, which is produced by the Air Transport Action Group. The pack contains suggestions for using this as the basis for class discussion.

Despite the conflict between the need to protect the environment and the economic arguments for the growth in aviation, this material skilfully presents all the arguments in a way that students can relate to.

For further information about WWF-UK's education programme contact: WWWF-UK, Education and Awareness Panda House Weyside Park Catteshall Lanes Godalming Surrey GU7 1XR Website:

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