Eco-Campaigners Force Flight Cancellations
Climate action group protesters have been arrested at Stansted airport after occupying a runway at around 03:15 this morning.
Over 50 Ryanair flights were cancelled or delayed due to the protest which took place in a secure area near the runway. Eco-Protesters were taken away by police after being accused of aggravated trespass and conspiracy to commit a public nuisance.
Protesters had gained access to the site using bolt-cutters and then built themselves a small stockade, near to the runway, using concrete blocks and security fencing. They then chained themselves to the fencing.
The British government gave the go-ahead to controversial plans for the further expansion of Stansted Airport in October. The British Airports Authority who own the airport have stated that they want to increase passenger numbers from 25 million to 35 million in just one year. This would result in a major increase in the number of flights from the airport from 241,000 to 264,000.
While supporters of the controversial expansion have spoken of the many new jobs that would be provided the eco-activists have reminded people of the environmental damage that would be caused. The average flight out of Stansted airport is responsible for around 41.58 tonnes of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.
One young female protestor said:
“We’re here because our parents’ generation has failed us and its now down to young people to stop climate change by whatever peaceful means we have left. We’re afraid of what the police might do to us, we’re afraid of going to jail but nothing scares us as much as the threat of runaway climate change. We’ve thought through the consequences of what we’re doing here but we’re determined to stop as many tonnes of CO2 as we can.”
Matthew Knowles from the Society of British Aerospace Companies has stated that the protesters are ignoring the facts around aviation and climate change. He pointed out that aircraft today are 70% more fuel efficient than they were 50 years ago and went on to say that it is about time that these ill-informed protests stopped.
Another of the young Stansted airport protester said:
“We fully appreciate the scale of what we’ve done here today and we know many people will struggle to understand why we’ve done it, but the Arctic ice cap is disappearing, the seas are rising and our last chance to save our future is vanishing. With people taking more flights in Britain than anywhere else on earth, we have a unique responsibility to tackle emissions from flying.”
One of the passengers whose flight was delayed by the action has said that not only did the protest break all of the safety rules, it also disrupted peoples lives. He went on to say that he hoped the authorities would treat the protestors very seriously.
When travelling from Stansted airport I recommend booking your Stansted Airport Parking space in advance for some significant savings.
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