FRENCH police officers have been injured and a rocket has been fired at a military helicopter in violent clashes with anti-capitalist squatters when officials tried to clear the group from an abandoned airport project.
Plans for a "Great West" trans-Atlantic gateway to France and Europe were first considered in the 1960s and the Notre-Dame-des-Landes site was identified in 1967, but the project stalled until being revived in 2000.
Supporters of the airport plan, designed to handle 4 million passengers a year initially, said it would have helped economic development in the Loire-Atlantique region.
An old, inner-city airport 20 miles to the south was congested and a security risk, they said.
But opponents said it was too costly, environmentally damaging and that there was another under-utilised airport 70 miles to the north, near Rennes in Brittany.