Climate change activists blockade domestic flights at Manchester Airport

(8.10.2007     Plane Stupid and Daily Mail)

Activists from Manchester Climate Action and Manchester Plane Stupid blockaded
the security check-in of Terminal 3 of Manchester Airport. Passengers were denied
access to the departure lounge by  7 activists locked together using arm-tube devices.
Two banners were unfurled reading, "Manchester City Council… supporting climate chaos" and "Domestic flights cost the Earth".  

Plane Stupid say:

Aviation is the fastest growing source of green house gases and according to
the government is responsible for 13% of the UK’s global warming contribution.
The overwhelming majority of flights from terminal 3 are to domestic UK destinations
such as London Heathrow. These are the most unnecessary flights. The group are
calling for an end to all domestic and short-haul flights and for international
aviation to be included in the Climate Change Bill.

The protesters are also highlighting the contradiction between Manchester City
Council’s ‘Green City’ initiative and their 55% ownership of Manchester airport
. The airport intends to expand its annual passenger numbers from 22 million in
2005, to 39 million by 2015, to 50 million by 2030.

Green Party Councillor Vanessa Hall, who took part  in the blockade said,

Manchester Council say we need the income from the airport to fight poverty.
The Airport costs the people of Manchester in tax breaks and subsidies – this
money should be invested directly into green industries directly creating jobs
and relieving poverty. Climate Change will have a massive impact on our economy,
health and well-being. It is environmental and economic lunacy to consider any
expansion of aviation.

We can’t be a Green City with an expanding Airport.   I am blockading domestic
flights to highlight the true cost of flying and to call the council to account
for their hypocrisy.

The action today was inspired by the Camp for Climate Action which saw around 2000 protesters gather next to Heathrow airport in London this

Robbie Gillett, also present at the protest said, “It is no longer socially acceptable to fly from Manchester to London, given what
we know about climate change.   It’s absurd when there are train alternatives readily
available.   The money earmarked for the expansion of British airports needs to
be redirected towards improving our rail infrastructure. We’re the last generation
who can stop climate change and time is running out.

Story in   Daily Mail
Climate change protesters blockade Manchester airport