Security concerns have been raised as climate change activists from direct action group ‘Plane Stupid‘ caused delays and cancellations at Heathrow, Europe’s busiest passenger airport, after breaching the perimeter fence, invading the north runway and locking themselves together in protest at the airport’s possible expansion. A spokesman for the organisation confirmed to Breitbart London they aim to cause maximum disruption, bring Heathrow to a hault and, ominously, that they will do it again.
— Plane Stupid (@planestupid) July 13, 2015
Airline passengers have been warned to expect further delays even after the runway reopened. In a statement the airport said its southern runway remained open throughout the protest. It continued:
“We are working closely with the police who are dealing with the incident. Both runways are open although there will still be delays – we are sorry for the disruption to passengers. Our priority remains to ensure the safe running of the airport.”
Speaking to Breitbart London a spokesman for ‘Plane Stupid’ confirmed they will “most certainly” do it again, adding “without a shadow of doubt we will continue to use direct action to portray our message”. Asked if they were against all air travel, despite the economic arguments in favour, the spokesman said they do not “recognise that dichotomy”, adding:
“The gains that you are talking about are very short lived… mitigating climate change will outweigh any economic benefits…
“It needs to be noted that 15 per cent of the of the flyers do 70 per cent of the flying. We’re talking about frequent flyers; we’re talking about business flyers. The expansion of the airport is for this community of flyers… this benefit is not really for the people – its for the business and the business flyers.”
‘Plane Stupid’ said 13 demonstrators – one dressed as a polar bear – cut through the airport perimeter fence to get onto the runway at 3.30am. Police moved in with cutting equipment to remove the demonstrators from a tripod which they built themselves. All the protesters were removed from the runway by 10am, nine were arrested on suspicion of Aviation Act offences.
The BBC reports Afzal Ashraf, from the defence and security think tank the Royal United Services Institute, saying the protesters’ actions raised security concerns: “If they did manage to get to a runway before being apprehended then there is a bit of an issue. If a terrorist group came up to the fence it would take a few minutes to cut through.”
Sky News reports Ella Gilbert, one of the runway activists , said:
“Building more runways goes against everything we’re being told by scientists and experts on climate change. This would massively increase carbon emissions exactly when we need to massively reduce them, that’s why we’re here.
“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. 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.
“No ifs, no buts, no third runway. And we mean it.”
The BBC reported comments from passengers who had their flight to Dublin cancelled saying: “They shouldn’t be allowed. Get the fire engine out and hose them down.”
Earlier in July the Davies Commission published it’s long-awaited report recommending a new runway be built at Heathrow Airport in preference to Gatwick.