Posts Tagged ‘Plane Stupid’

Southend Airport runway protesters given police bail

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Fifteen climate change activists arrested at London Southend Airport have been released on bail.

Members of Plane Stupid and Climate Rush entered the airport at 09:00 BST on Saturday and were arrested by Essex police officers.

They had planned to put solar panels on the runway and perform a dance routine dressed as pilots and cabin crew.

The five men and 10 women have been released on police bail until 30 November.

They were being held on suspicion of entering a restricted zone at an airport and aggravated trespass.

‘Solar power needed’

The airport wants to extend its runway by 300m (984ft) to allow larger passenger aircraft to be used.

The Stobart Group, which owns the airport, aims to have two million passengers a year passing through its terminal, by 2020.

In a statement before the arrests, a spokeswoman for the protesters said: “Southend Council say the expansion will bring jobs.

“But investment in renewable energy would create many more jobs without damaging the climate.

“What we need is solar power, not plane power.”

An airport spokeswoman said the runway had been closed for a “short period” while police dealt with the situation but no flights had been affected.

Southend Airport protestors bailed after security breach

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

FIFTEEN protesters arrested on suspicion of a security breach at Southend Airport have been bailed.

Police have now confirmed that it was five men and 10 ten women who were arrested at about 9am on Saturday. They have now been bailed until November 30.

The group includes a 20-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman from Norwich and a 43 year-old man from Whistable in Kent. The remainder are from various areas of London.

Protest organisation Plane Stupid has claimed responsibility for five of the protestors who they say managed to get on the runway at 9am today to try and install solar panels.

They were dressed as pilots and cabin crew.

They say an extra five were from another group called Climate Rush.’

Police were called to the scene just after 9am.

The group remain in police custody.

A spokeswoman for the protestors said: “What we need is solar power not plane power.” A spokeswoman for Southend Airport said: “Earlier this morning Essex Police were called to London Southend airport following a report of suspicious activity at the airport perimeter. “Police swiftly dealt with a breach in the airport perimeter and a number of people were arrested. “The runway was closed for a short period whilst the police responded. “No flights were impacted by this event.”

The Stop Airport Extension Now (SAEN) group has denied any involvement, but a spokesman said: “it’s understandable why they are feeling so frustrated.”

Southend Airport runway protesters arrested

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Fifteen climate change activists have been arrested at London Southend Airport.

Members of Plane Stupid and Climate Rush entered the airport at 09:00 BST and were apprehended by officers.

In a press release, the groups said they planned to put solar panels on the runway and do a dance routine dressed as pilots and cabin crew.

Police initially said 16 people were in custody, but at 15:00 BST confirmed five men and 10 women were detained.

The airport wants to extend its runway by 300m (984ft) to allow larger passenger aircraft to be used.

‘Solar power’

The Stobart Group, which owns the airport, aims to have two million passengers a year passing through its terminal, by 2020.

In a statement before the arrests, a spokeswoman for the protesters said: “Southend Council say the expansion will bring jobs.

“But investment in renewable energy would create many more jobs without damaging the climate.

“What we need is solar power, not plane power.

“The bigger runway is bad for climate change, bad for local residents under the flight path and is not needed to help the local economy.”

Using Twitter, Plane Stupid said members had invaded the runway at 09:00 BST and remained there “for at least an hour”.

Essex Police said officers responded quickly to reports of protesters gaining access to Southend Airport shortly after the protesters broke in.

Flights ‘unaffected’

All 15 suspects are being held on suspicion of entering a restricted zone at an airport and aggravated trespass.

A 20-year-old man and a 19 year-old woman from Norwich and a 43 year-old man from Whitstable in Kent are among those arrested.

The remainder are from various parts of London.

Det Ch Insp Stuart Hooper said: “We were on heightened general alert to airports and our response to the protest was very swift.

“We have a number of well-rehearsed contingency plans for events such as this and we have launched a criminal investigation following the incident at Southend.”

An airport spokeswoman confirmed the runway had been closed for a “short period” while police dealt wth the situation.

“No flights were impacted by this event,” she said.

SAEN grateful to Plane Stupid protesters

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Zebra crossing over a taxiway

The site at which the protesters allegedly entered the airport - the zebra crossing over an airport taxiway on Footpath 36

SAEN[1] has learned, via a call from the local press, that 16 people were arrested at Southend Airport this morning for protesting against the airport’s expansion.

The direct action group Plane Stupid has claimed credit for the protest alongside Suffragette-inspired campaigners Climate Rush.[2] Further information about the incident is available from the Press Association[3] and BBC News[4].

SAEN was unaware of today’s protest, but has been opposing the runway extension at Southend Airport and associated development ever since the summer of 2008 when Southend Borough Council and Rochford District Council launched a Joint Area Action Plan (JAAP) to determine planning policy for the airport and its environs.

Initially, four options were on the table – low growth, two medium growth variants and high growth. The majority opposed “Scenario 3″[5], which was the high growth option, but it was this proposal that was taken forward and phase 2 of consultation was on this high growth plan, which included an extension to the runway to allow larger planes to use the airport. Again, the overwhelming majority objected[6]. By this time, Stobart had bought the airport and were developing a planning application for the runway extension.

View from Footpath 36 towards the runway at Southend Airport

View from Footpath 36 towards the runway at Southend Airport, where it is understood the protest took place

The application was submitted in October 2009, at which point the JAAP was put on ice, denying the public an Examination in Public of the planning policy before it was adopted. Despite overwhelming opposition, the application was waved through by Southend Council’s development control committee in January 2010. SAEN was hopeful at this stage that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, John Denham (a former Friends of the Earth transport campaigner), would grant a public inquiry into the decision, but it was not to be. The group then spent over a year and tens of thousands of pounds pursuing permission for a Judicial Review, which has now been refused.

It is therefore entirely understandable that protesters would take direct action to protest against this unjust scheme and SAEN is grateful to the protesters for showing solidarity with the local community.

SAEN Spokesman, Denis Walker, said: “The town is being blighted by the closure of Eastwoodbury Lane, the demolition of six homes and the threat of thousands of flights a month, but we’re getting nothing in return but more noise and more traffic. Regional airports take money out of the local economy as people go abroad to spend and while there will be a few jobs they never match the numbers the developers claim. The town has been double-crossed and councillors should be ashamed.”

ENDS.

Notes to Editors

  1. “Stop Airport Extension Now” (SAEN) was formed to campaign against the runway extension at Southend Airport. The group is not opposed to the Airport itself, which has co-existed with the residents of Southend for many years. SAEN is against the runway extension, which would lead to a massive increase in flights and destroy the lives of the people living, working or going to school anywhere near the flightpath.
  2. http://twitter.com/#!/planestupid and http://twitter.com/#!/ClimateRush
  3. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jSJ0PtpT3Ot13P5nKU_5vVfrlTZA?docId=N0343301319879438537A
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-15505319
  5. http://www.saen.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/JAAP_issues_and_options_summary_consultation_response.pdf (see p15)
  6. http://www.saen.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Resp-to-JAAP-POR-Final-Version.pdf (see p4)

For further information:

  • Contact Denis Walker, Press Officer SAEN (Stop Airport Extension Now)
  • Visit the SAEN website – http://saen.org.uk/

Southend Airport: Sixteen Arrested After Activists Walk On Runway

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Sixteen people have been arrested after a protest at an airport, police said.

Activists went on to the runway at Southend Airport in Essex shortly after 9am on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: “Sixteen people gained entry to Southend Airport. We were deployed very quickly and have arrested them all, and they are in custody.”

Some managed to get on to the runway, she added.

Campaigners said the demonstration was against the planned expansion of the airport.

A spokeswoman for the protesters said: “Southend Council say the expansion will bring jobs. But investment in renewable energy would create many more jobs without damaging the climate. What we need is solar power not plane power.

“The bigger runway is bad for climate change, bad for local residents under the flight path and is not needed to help the local economy.”

Arrests After Protesters Get On To Runway

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Sixteen people have been arrested after a protest at London Southend Airport.

Activists went on to the runway in south Essex shortly after 9am on Saturday morning.

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: “Sixteen people gained entry to Southend Airport. We were deployed very quickly and have arrested them all, and they are in custody.”

Some managed to get on to the runway, she added.

Campaigners said the demonstration was against the planned expansion of the airport.

A spokeswoman for the protesters said: “Southend Council say the expansion will bring jobs. But investment in renewable energy would create many more jobs without damaging the climate. What we need is solar power not plane power.

“The bigger runway is bad for climate change, bad for local residents under the flight path and is not needed to help the local economy.”

16 arrested after airport protest

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Sixteen people have been arrested after a protest at an airport, police said.

Activists went on to the runway at Southend Airport in Essex shortly after 9am on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: “Sixteen people gained entry to Southend Airport. We were deployed very quickly and have arrested them all, and they are in custody.”

Some managed to get on to the runway, she added.

Campaigners said the demonstration was against the planned expansion of the airport.

A spokeswoman for the protesters said: “Southend Council say the expansion will bring jobs. But investment in renewable energy would create many more jobs without damaging the climate. What we need is solar power not plane power.

“The bigger runway is bad for climate change, bad for local residents under the flight path and is not needed to help the local economy.”

A spokeswoman for the airport said later: “Earlier this morning Essex Police were called to London Southend Airport following a report of suspicious activity at the airport perimeter.

“Police swiftly dealt with a breach in the airport perimeter and a number of people were arrested.

“The runway was closed for a short period whilst the police responded. No flights were impacted by this event.”

Sixteen arrested after airport protest

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Tim Moynihan

Sixteen people were arrested today after a protest at an airport, police said.

Activists went on to the runway at Southend Airport in Essex shortly after 9am.

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: “Sixteen people gained entry to Southend Airport. We were deployed very quickly and have arrested them all, and they are in custody.”

Some managed to get on to the runway, she added.

Campaigners said the demonstration was against the planned expansion of the airport.

A spokeswoman for the protesters said: “Southend Council say the expansion will bring jobs. But investment in renewable energy would create many more jobs without damaging the climate. What we need is solar power not plane power.

“The bigger runway is bad for climate change, bad for local residents under the flight path and is not needed to help the local economy.” PA

Southend Airport: Runway Protest

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

15 people have been arrested after demonstrators gained access to the runway at Southend Airport.

Police were called shortly after 9am on Saturday (29 October).

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: “15 people gained entry to Southend Airport.

We were deployed very quickly and have arrested them all, and they are in custody.”

Ten women and five men were held in custody, and then released on conditional bail.

They are due to report back to police on the 30th of November.

Campaigners said the demonstration was against the planned expansion of the airport.

A spokeswoman for the protesters said: “Southend Council say the expansion will bring jobs.

But investment in renewable energy would create many more jobs without damaging the climate. What we need is solar power not plane power.

The bigger runway is bad for climate change, bad for local residents under the flight path and is not needed to help the local economy.”

Southend Airport has issued the following statement: “Essex police were called to London Southend airport following a report of suspicious activity at the airport perimeter.

Police swiftly dealt with a breach in the airport perimeter and a number of people were arrested.

The runway was closed for a short period whilst the police responded but no flights were impacted by this event.”