Nottingham East Midlands Airport faced major disruption as activists took over their Alpha Taxiway. 24 protestors, including a Reverend and a Baptist Minister, broke through security fences with wire cutters and managed to delay five flights and cause disruption to over 1,000 passengers.
The group causing the disturbance are called Plane Stupid and was started by two students concerned about climate change. Like many environmentalist groups at the moment, they are concerned about the number of flights increasing and airports expanding. In order to try and combat this problem they decided to focus their attention on the flying industry and now have 150 committed members.
Standing their ground for four hours, the campaigners were determined to get the government and airport bosses to take notice and listen to them. It seems like they were successful in their mission as it took Emergency Fire and Rescue teams and police from four different counties to remove them. The whole group have been charged with aggravated trespass and criminal damage. However, they remain positive and feel the day was a success having made the national news.
Plane Stupid claim that over 166,000 people die from climate change every year and feel that they have to take direct action themselves in order to get results. The group are concerned about the fact that aeroplanes are possibly the worst source for CO2 yet the government is supporting the increase of flights no matter how much the skies are being polluted.
Believing that air travel poses the single greatest threat to our climate, their aim is to bring the aviation industry down to earth. They plan to do this by seeking an end to short-haul flights, a tax on aviation fuel and abandonment on airport expansion.
This isn’t the first protest that has been held at various airports around the UK and at Nottingham East Midlands Airport by some of the many groups around. As the media is filled with stories about the massive damage airlines are causing to the environment, airline companies are preparing for many more demonstrations. A survey conducted has revealed that 47 percent of people in Britain have already cut down on short-haul flying as a result of climate change. Thus suggesting that these airlines are set to face a rapid decline in passenger numbers.