Plane Stupid Climate Change Protestors Take on Heathrow Expansion

By James O Malley on at

Protesters briefly made it onto the Northern runway at Heathrow Airport this morning, causing delays to flights.

The direct action group Plane Stupid is behind the protest. Unsurprisingly, the environmental group is opposed to the building of a third runway at the airport, a move which recently came out as the most favoured option in a long-awaited report for the government.

According to the BBC, 12 demonstrators got on to the northern runway at 3:30am this morning, causing the runway to be closed until 6:20am with the knock-on effect of delaying flights from the airport.

Police have said that the protesters chained themselves together to prevent their removal. Plane Stupid themselves posted photos to Twitter suggesting that angle grinders were being used to try to remove the protesters.

The Beeb quotes Ella Gilbert, who was one of the activists on the runway as saying, "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."

Slightly scarily for the protesters, the police have apparently warned the protesters that Heathrow Airport may attempt a "civil recovery" of revenue lost by having to close one runway, which presumably could end up costing the protesters dearly.

We're still a long way away from the "Third Runway" question being resolved, let alone built, so it will be interesting to see if Plane Stupid keeps up its campaign. [BBC]