Activists plan to cause chaos when Terminal 5 at Heathrow is opened

(24.10.2007     Times)

Environmental activists are planning to disrupt hundreds of flights by blockading
key areas in Heathrow’s giant new terminal when it opens in the spring, The Times
has learnt.   Supporters of Plane Stupid, an antiaviation group that caused chaos
by occupying a taxiway at East Midlands airport last year, have infiltrated passenger
trials taking place over the next three months at Terminal 5.

Now it has emerged that both the aviation industry and the environmental group
spied on each other in an attempt to gain intelligence on rival plans and tactics.
People working for FlyingMatters, a lobby group funded by BAA, have contacted
Plane Stupid posing as environmentalists interested in supporting their action.
Meanwhile, activists working for Plane Stupid have tried to glean information
about the activities of FlyingMatters by ringing its offices and pretending to
be journalists.

Plane Stupid, which organised the "climate camp" that blockaded BAA’s offices
at Heathrow in August, has a link on its website to the Heathrow owner’s volunteer
registration page. A member of the group said: "We have managed to get hundreds
of our supporters registered as volunteers and they will be checking out the terminal
because we consider it to be the number one target for direct action."

Michelle Di Leo, director of FlyingMatters, said: "Again Plane Stupid are indulging
in irresponsible gestures.   Their actions impact most on those they profess to
be protecting: families who holiday once a year, ethnic minorities who rely on
air transport to visit family, and farmers in the developing world reliant on
UK consumers."