Extinction Rebellion blockade private airport with limousine to shut it down

Extinction Rebellion activists are attempting to shut down a private airport in a protest over jet emissions.

Climate protesters are targeting Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, which sees thousands of private planes use its runway every year.

Protesters are blocking one of the gates with a stretch limousine that has someone locked to the wheel and another person ‘glued to the roof’.

A spokesperson for the airport says it is still operating as normal despite the demonstration.

It comes a day after XR offshoot group, Insulate Britain, blocked three motorways in a single morning, including the M25.

Climate activism is expected to ramp up ahead of a global summit taking place in Glasgow in a few weeks.

An Extinction Rebellion spokesman said: ‘As world leaders gather for the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow this month, protesters are calling on the world’s super-rich elite of celebrities, oligarchs and business leaders to ditch private flights.

‘These private flyers, just 1% of the world’s population, cause half of aviation’s global emissions. Extinction Rebellion is also demanding the government stops private flights now.

‘The 30,000 private flights to and from Farnborough Airport each year carry an average of just 2.3 passengers, with each passenger responsible for the emission of nine times as much carbon as an economy flight to the US and 20 times that to Spain.

‘The airport has permission to increase flight movements to 50,000 a year.

‘In protest at this wanton level of pollution by the super-rich, Extinction Rebellion has today blockaded three key airport entrances, with activists locked on top of a three-metre high steel tripod at one gateway and to fuel barrels at a second.

‘The third entrance is barricaded by a stretch limousine, with the driver locked on to the steering wheel and a protester dressed as a media mogul glued to the roof.’

A spokesperson for the airport said: ‘Farnborough Airport is aware of a number of unauthorised persons gathering at the entrance to the airport. 

‘The airport is still fully operational. Authorities are continually monitoring the situation.’

Protester Todd Smith, 32, a former airline pilot from Reading, Berkshire, criticised  Farnborough Airport’s move to offer sustainable aviation fuel as an alternative fuel.

He said: ‘The term ‘sustainable aviation fuel’ was coined by the aviation and fossil fuel industry to deceive the public and greenwash the utterly destructive nature of biofuels.

‘Biofuels result in land grabs, deforestation, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, rising food prices and land-use emissions which can be worse than the fossil fuel they are replacing.’

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