Court of Appeal demands new environmental impact study into Nice Airport extension

nice airport extension

The extension project at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has run into a snag following a decision from the Court of Appeal in Marseille that demands a new environmental impact study be undertaken. 

Concerns about the possible environmental damage that the extension to Terminal 2 could have on the surrounding area, which includes a protected Natura 2000 zone, have dogged the project since its earliest days.  

Permission for the extension had been given by the local prefecture four years ago, but a coalition of nearby residents and eco groups immediately launched a legal case against the plans.

After initial defeat in the courts, which included a ruling in favour of the extension at the Administrative Court of Marseille in October 2022 that hinged on the scheme’s low emission strategies and its provisions for improved “passenger experiences” and safety, the anti-extension group decided to take its case to the city’s Court of Appeal. 


On 14th December, the Marseille Administrative Court of Appeal ruled that the airport and its management must conduct a new environmental impact study.

Importantly, this ruling does not prohibit any continuation of works already underway at the airport, but still, a lot is hanging on the results of the report, which will be due in 12 months’ time. If it is favourable to the airport, the project has a strong shot at continuing. If it is not, the building permit could be revoked.  

A statement released by the management of Nice Côte d’Azur Airport confirms that note has been taken of this most recent decision.  

“This request for further details is to formalise the procedure to grant planning permission,” reads the statement. “Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is fully committed to carrying out this additional study, which will demonstrate that the adaptations planned for Terminal 2 only concern passenger handling areas, and do not involve any mechanical increase in the number of aircraft movements.” 

If it is allowed to be finished, the extension of Terminal 2 will increase Nice airport’s theoretical capacity to 18 million passengers, up from its current theoretical maximum capacity of 14 million passengers, which was breached back in 2019.  

Read related:

Renovations at Nice Airport’s T2 see shops and VIP Lounge closed


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Photo source: Constantin, Unsplash