Tags: heathrow | protest | airport | climate | change

Heathrow Protest: 13 Climate Activists Arrested, 22 Flights Canceled

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Jul 2015 01:14 PM

A Heathrow Airport protest on Monday resulted in the arrest of 13 climate change activists on suspicion of Aviation Act offenses in a demonstration that caused one of Europe’s busiest airports to cancel 22 flights.

The demonstrators, who are affiliated with Plane Stupid, an anti-airport expansion direct action group, entered the runway at 3:30 a.m. on Monday to protest against Heathrow’s plans to build a third runway, according to The Associated Press. Earlier this month, an independent commission announced in the results of its three-year project that this expansion was the solution to Britain’s additional air capacity needs.

The devoted environmentalists expressed their outrage, claiming that the new runway would continue to worsen air quality and aggravate climate change, according to the AP.

“We want to say sorry to anyone whose day we’ve ruined, and we’re not saying that everybody who wants to fly is a bad person,” said Plane Stupid activist Ella Gilbert, who was one of the protestors on the runway, in a statement. “It's those who fly frequently and unnecessarily who are driving the need for expansion, and we cannot keep ignoring the terrifying consequences of flying like there’s no tomorrow.”

The 13 campaigners were subsequently charged with aggravated trespass and entering a security-restricted area within an aerodrome, according to The Telegraph. An investigation into the airport’s security measures will be reviewed in the aftermath of the protest, the Metropolitan Police confirmed.

“If a terrorist group came up to the fence it would take a few minutes to cut through. It's very easy to get to a fence before the police are able to react,” said Afzal Ashraf, a consultant fellow with the Royal United Services Institute, according to the Daily Mail.

The protesters managed to cut a hole through a fence that was being monitored by CCTV cameras and regular patrols before chaining themselves together on the runway, according to the Daily Mail.

“The safety of our passengers and the smooth running of the operation is paramount. Anyone who breaks the law and interferes with the safe operation of the airport can expect to face legal action,” Ashraf said, according to the Daily Mail.

Because Heathrow operates at full capacity, flights throughout Monday continued to experience delays besides the 22 flight cancellations, according to the AP.

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A Heathrow Airport protest on Monday resulted in the arrest of 13 climate change activists on suspicion of Aviation Act offenses in a demonstration that caused one of Europe’s busiest airports to cancel 22 flights.
heathrow, protest, airport, climate, change
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2015-14-14
Tuesday, 14 Jul 2015 01:14 PM
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