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Thursday, 30 July 2015

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Monday, 13 July 2015

London Heathrow Airport Flights Delays: By Climate Change Activists Protesters On Runway

Climate change activists caused delays and cancellations at Heathrow after they got onto the north runway and locked themselves together in protest at airport expansion. 

A spokesman for direct action group Plane Stupid said around a dozen demonstrators cut through the airport perimeter fence to occupy the runway at 3.30am on Monday. 

Heathrow Airport said while the runways remained open there were some delays and travellers were advised to check with their airline. At least seven British Airways flights were cancelled, including one to Dublin. This has caused a major headache for a bride and groom whose wedding is in the Irish capital on Tuesday. 

Chris Madigan, 28, said: "We're supposed to be going to Dublin to get married. It's put a spanner in the works." 

His fiancee Kristen Lutz, from Chicago, said: "My whole family are already there (at the wedding venue). "It's quite frustrating." 

Ciara Lalor was also unimpressed by having her flight home to Dublin cancelled because of the protest. The 34-year-old said: "They've disrupted so many people. "They shouldn't be allowed. "Get the fire engine out and hose them down." 

The protest also had an international impact. Jacob Firsel, who was delayed in Israel, tweeted: "Protests at Heathrow and we're stuck on the runway in Tel Aviv. 

So much for good start to our vacation."
Police at the scene used cutting equipment to remove the demonstrators. 

A number of people were arrested for aviation offences. Sky's Joe Tidy, who was at Heathrow as the protesters were taken away, said: "Airport authorities parked a ring of trucks and snow ploughs around the makeshift pyramid presumably to block the view of protesters from the nearby road. 

"Around a dozen police cars, vans and fire engines were at the scene to remove and detain the protesters. 

One protester dressed as a polar bear had to be taken off the top of the structure using a cherry picker." Ella Gilbert, one of the activists on the runway, said: "Building more runways goes against everything we're being told by scientists and experts on climate change. "This would massively increase carbon emissions exactly when we need to massively reduce them, that's why we're here. "We want to say sorry to anyone whose day we've ruined, and we're not saying that everybody who wants to fly is a bad person.

"It's those who fly frequently and unnecessarily who are driving the need for expansion, and we cannot keep ignoring the terrifying consequences of flying like there's no tomorrow. "No ifs, no buts, no third runway. And we mean it." Earlier this month a long-awaited report recommended that a new runway should be built at Heathrow rather than Gatwick

After three years of investigation, the Airports Commission said Heathrow was best placed to provide "urgently required" capacity, but environmentalists warned that building a new runway there will make it harder to reduce air pollution and climate change emissions.