Media Release. Airport congratulated on improved ads; more progress needed. 21 July, 2016

The No Airport Arms Ads (NAAA) campaign today congratulated Canberra Airport on the improved look of the arrivals hall with large display ads celebrating Canberra.  In particular, Canberra’s 100% renewable energy target, and our first-class educational institutions, are now featured in separate advertisements.

No Airport Arms Ads campaign convenor Dr Sue Wareham said today, “We are delighted to see images that celebrate the progressive city that we live in.  These reminders will be very welcome for Canberrans returning home, and equally welcoming for visitors in giving a taste of what a great place they’ve just landed in.”  The ads themselves will help promote pride in what Canberra is achieving as a renewable-powered city, and in the value we place on education.

However, Dr Wareham noted, the campaign is still urging the removal of all weapons advertisements from the airport.  Still approximately a third of the large ads either in the arrivals hall or beside the departure ramps outside are for large weapons systems and their manufacturers.

Just as the airport does not advertise gambling because of the enormous social harm that it causes, the campaign believes that the promotion of weapons turns a blind eye to the even greater social harm caused by them and by the wars that they fuel.  Frequent images of Australia as a war-ready nation help to normalise the notion of going to war, which Australia has been doing continuously since 2001. 

“Promoting weapons, and the short term economic benefits of producing them, helps to make warfare a more acceptable first choice in responding to conflict”, said Dr Wareham. “Ironically, we seem to have completely forgotten the lessons of World War 1, even as we commemorate its bloody battles.”