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Aviador

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Plane protesters lock down jet with 'human wheel clamp' at City airport

Five protesters in pinstriped suits and bowler hats chained themselves to a private jet at London City Airport this morning.

The activists, members of the anti-aviation expansion network Plane Stupid, used bolt cutters to saw through the perimeter fence by the runway at 2.30am.

They were found by security guards chained together in a circle around one of the planes.

One was Tamsin Omond, the 24-year-old grand-daughter of Sir Thomas Lees, a fourth generation Dorset baronet.

The Cambridge graduate has been involved in some of the campaign's high profile attacks including scaling the Palace of Westminster in protest over a third runway at Heathrow

Spokeswoman Nancy Birch said the "human wheel clamp" was designed to highlight the "selfishness" of private jet use.

"Our intention was to stage a corporate takeover of the private jet centre with all our protesters in business suits," she said.

"Small jets emit between five and 10 times more carbon per passenger than commercial flights. It's time they were grounded for good."

She said the group had found a CCTV blind spot in the perimeter fence, about 100 yards from the security hut.

"This is a central, busy airport and a major terrorist target but getting into it was child's play," she said.

At police arrived to cut the steel tubes, known as arm locks, off the protesters but Miss Birch said the group had fortified the chains to make it harder.

A spokeswoman for City Airport said there could be a "slight delay" to the schedule for the private jets.

But she added: "This has not disrupted the main airport. The safety of our passengers and staff remain a priority but we do not expect any flights to be significantly affected.

"This is now a police matter and we expect there to be arrests for criminal damage and breaking and entering."

Plane Stupid said it had a legal expert on hand to deal with any arrests.

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[textarea]Climate change protest at London City Airport

Climate camp activists are staging a protest at London City Airport today to highlight the threat of climate change. After first staging a demonstration outside the Treasury, they will head for the airport to make their objections to the expansion of the hub known.

The campaigners are protesting against the recently approved 50% expansion of the airport, warning this would lead to an extra 40,000 plane journeys from the airport, bringing City's annual flight total to 120,000. Climate camper Anna Markova said: ‘Corporations are driving the climate change agenda. They have pushed through the expansion of London City Airport against the wishes of the local community.’

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[textarea]Residents lose London City Airport flights increase challenge

A residents group from east London lost their High Court battle to block an increase in the number of flights proposed for London City Airport yesterday. In 2008 Newham Council gave the airport permission to increase its number of flights by 50% (from 80,000 to 120,000), and local residents formed an action group called Fight the Flights to try to overturn the decision at the High Court.

Residents argued extra flights would increase noise and pollution. They accused Newham Council of ‘erring in law’ by failing to take into account a ‘fundamental change’ in Government policy on aviation and climate change. They also said the council had failed to properly consult the neighbouring London boroughs of Redbridge and Waltham Forest, or the residents of those boroughs.

The residents were represented in court for the two-day hearing by campaign group Friends of the Earth. Lord Justice Pill and Mr Justice Roderick Evans, sitting in London, rejected both accusations and dismissed the legal challenge. Anne-Marie Griffin, chairwoman of Fight the Flights, was given 14 days to apply for permission to appeal against the ruling.

London City Airport chief Richard Gooding said: ‘This is great news for London City Airport and Newham. The decision enables us to continue supporting the much needed regeneration and investment that London City Airport has helped bring to East London over the past 23 years.’

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[textarea]1,000 City Airport objection letters delivered to Newham Council offices by Santa

Demonstrators fighting the proposed £200million plan to expand London City Airport delivered 1,000 signed objection letters to the Newham Council offices – with a little help from Father Christmas.

Ethel Odiete, who lives close to the airport, dressed up as she handed the letters to the council’s director of strategic regeneration planning and Olympic legacy Jo Negrini.

The planned expansion would allow the airport to accommodate 50,000 extra flights every year.

Also included would be new aeroplane parking areas to accommodate larger aircraft, a parallel taxi lane to optimise runway capacity during its busiest hours and a terminal extension.

Read more: http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/1_ ... _1_3132143[/textarea]
 
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