Climate activists block private planes from taking off at Schiphol Airport

Climate activists block private planes from taking off at Schiphol Airport

AMSTERDAM, Nov 5 (Reuters) – More than 100 white-suited environmental activists stormed the area where private jets are kept at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Saturday and stopped several aircraft from taking off by sitting in front of their wheels.

The protest was part of a day of demonstrations in and around the airport organized by environmental groups Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion to protest greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution caused by the airport and the airline industry.

No commercial flight delays were reported in the early afternoon.

“We want fewer flights, more trains and a ban on unnecessary short-haul flights and private jets,” Greenpeace Netherlands campaign leader Dewi Zloch said.

The environmental group says Schiphol is the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the Netherlands, emitting 12 billion kilograms a year.

Hundreds of other protesters in and around the airport’s main concourse carried signs reading “Restrict Aviation” and “More Trains”.

Responding to the protest, Schiphol said it aims to become an emission-free airport by 2030 and supports targets for the airline industry to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The military police in charge of airport security stated in a statement that they “made several arrests of persons who were on the property of the airport without permission”.

In June, the Dutch government announced plans to limit the annual number of passengers at the airport to 440,000, about 11% below the 2019 levelciting concerns about air and climate pollution.

Transport Minister Mark Harbors told parliament last month that his office could not control growing private jet traffic, and the government is considering whether to include the issue in its climate policy.

Reporting by Toby Sterling Editing by Toby Chopra and Helen Popper

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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