Airport community groups applaud Plane Stupid action closing Stansted

8.12.2008   (HACAN, Stop Stansted Expansion and GACC press releases)

The community groups opposing unsustainable expansion at Heathrow, Stansted and
Gatwick have all voiced their support for the action taken today by Plane Stupid,
to highlight the huge dangers to climate caused by allowing airport expansion.  
(Link to story about the Stansted occupation).

Press releases from HACAN, SSE and GACC below.

1.   HACAN

Stansted Occupation ‘a clear sign of things to come’

John Stewart, the chair of HACAN, the organisation campaigning against the expansion
of Heathrow airport, warned that the occupation of Stansted (1) by over 50 protestors
from Plane Stupid was a clear sign of things to come if the Government didn’t
abandon its plans to expand airports across the UK.

The Government recently gave the go-ahead for a big increase in the number of
flights allowed to use the existing runway at Stansted.   And in April a Public
Inquiry will start into BAA’s plans for a second runway at the airport.   In January
the Government has said it will decide whether to give the green light for a third
runway at Heathrow and permission for more planes to land on the existing runways
by getting rid of runway alternation.   There are plans for expansion at virtually
every airport in the UK.

Plane Stupid said today that it chose to close Stansted after the government
approved the expansion of capacity at the airport by ten million passengers a

Stewart said, "The occupation of Stansted is a clear sign of things to come if
the Government doesn’t back down over its proposals to expand airports.   There
is a great deal of anger at the impact these plans will have on the global climate
and on local people’s quality of life."

Two weeks ago dozens of West London residents attended direct action training
sessions.   And on Saturday. at a major rally in London organised by the Campaign
against Climate Change, direct action to stop airport expansion won the support
of the Caroline Lucas MEP, the leader of the Green Party, and of the John McDonnell,
the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington whose constituency would see at least 700
homes demolished if a 3rd runway at Heathrow was built.



Notes for Editors:

(1). The peaceful protest began at 3.15am this morning (Monday) whilst the runway
was temporarily closed for maintenance work.   The young campaigners have raised
a banner reading ‘CLIMATE EMERGENCY’. Wearing high visibility vests which have
the message “Please DO something” printed on them, they chose this day for the
peaceful trespass as they knew the runway was closed for maintenance works and
no flights were due to take off or land for two hours after they arrived.    

For more details contact:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650

Plane Stupid can be contacted on: 

07948 311 396     or       07505 058 549     or       07946 503 741


2.   Stop Stansted Expansion



The closure of Stansted Airport this morning by climate action group Plane Stupid has highlighted significant
concerns that the Government is failing to fulfil its commitment to deliver meaningful
action on climate change by supporting the expansion of Stansted and other airports
across the UK


Over 50 protesters from Plane Stupid camped out on the runway and surrounded
themselves with fortified security fencing, preventing flights to and from the
airport during the early part of the morning.


Responding to news of the action Carol Barbone, Campaign Director of Stop Stansted
Expansion, said:   "No-one can condemn this action without also condemning the
recklessness of the Government’s policy on airport expansion and the major contribution
which the resulting emissions would make to global warming.   BAA’s full frontal
attack on the community with its plans to make Stansted bigger than Heathrow today,
with a seven square kilometre landgrab for a second runway destroying historic
homes and villages, must also be condemned."


She continued:   "Our own campaign has always been waged strictly within the law
and we are pledged to continue to use all legal means to overturn the Stansted
expansion plans.   Nevertheless, today’s action by Plane Stupid must be seen in
context against the backdrop of a continuous assault of the local community by
BAA and by a Government that claims to want to tackle climate change but seems
determined to allow expansion of the airport."




3.   Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign   (GACC)

Press release

8 December 2008

While GACC does not undertake direct action ourselves, we have full sympathy
with the frustration and anger felt by the young climate change protesters at

Gatwick Airport causes more climate change damage than all other activities in
Surrey and Sussex put together, and BAA is planning to sell the airport with plans
to increase the number of flights and the number of passengers.     In response
to a recent request by the local authorities to limit the airport’s climate change
damage, all BAA Gatwick have said is:   "we will maintain an ongoing dialogue."    
It is that sort of cynical attitude which forces young people to take action.

The protesters see the need to save the world for future generations as more
important than expanding airports to handle more and more holiday flights, mainly
by the better off.   We agree, and applaud the protesters for having the courage
of their conviction.



Brendon Sewill  01293 863 369

                                                     01293 862 373

                                                       0777 361 6318

Peter Barclay    01293 862 730