Climate protesters ‘close’ Biggin Hill Airport’

16.8.2007   (UK Airport News)

A group of climate change protesters claim to have shut down Biggin Hill Airport by chaining themselves to the entrance gate. The group of about 15 people were
protesting against the growth in the number of people using private jets as opposed
to scheduled flights. Meanwhile, about 20 protesters at Farnborough airport in
Hampshire – another private jet hub – blockaded the gate for around two-and-a-half

The protesters chained themselves to the airport gates just after dawn in an
attempt to disrupt the business flights into and out of the airport, said an airport
spokesperson. They vowed to stay chained to the airport in Kent until they are
removed by police.

A spokesman said: ‘This is a protest against the superrich with their own planes
who are putting two fingers up to attempts by the rest of us who try to cut our
carbon emissions by saying they will not only continue to fly, but they will fly
in the most carbon inefficient way possible.’

Eleven of the 15 were detained under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.
Biggin Hill Airport, which is operated as an executive business jet hub, told
Thomson Financial News that although passengers had used a different access road
during the incident, there had been no disruption to flights.

The protests come in the middle of a week-long climate camp outside Heathrow,
the world’s busiest international airport, whose organisers have promised to take
‘direct action’ against expansion plans. Richard George, 26 – from Plane Stupid
–   spokesman for the group, said the protest was in no way a ‘dry run’ for what
is planned at the weekend for Heathrow.



Biggin Hill Airport protesters in court


Ten climate change protesters who were arrested following a protest at Biggin Hill Airport appeared in court this week. As previously reported, the group managed to shut the main entrance gates to the airport and lock them
by bolting themselves to the metal bars on August 16. All 10 were arrested and
charged with aggravated trespass.

Police had to cut the chained protesters from the gates, one at a time, before
they were removed from the scene. Passengers arriving for flights were diverted
to other entrances in the airport. No flights were diverted or delayed.

The action was part of a campaign against airport expansion and climate change,
which also saw protesters start a blockade at Heathrow Airport last week.

The ten protesters appeared at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on August 17. Evidence
was withdrawn by the Crown Prosecution Service against three of the defendants.
The other seven pleaded guilty and were given an absolute discharge.