London City Airport has said only one of its flights has been affected after an Extinction Rebellion protester climbed on top of the aircraft while others attempt to blockade the facility.
The environmental group, which is trying to close down part of London for two weeks, said an operation to shut the airport for three days began this morning.
However, with the airport only allowing passengers with boarding passes into the terminal, it has escaped the worst of the problems, even if a protester has climbed onto a British airways jet that he has reportedly glued himself too.
Protesters first arrived before 9am and tried to block the DLR station’s access to the airport after police prevented them entering the terminal.
By lunchtime, it was believed as many as 150 protesters were at the airport.
The London city spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a booked passenger has climbed on top of an aircraft at London City Airport. All other operations are unaffected at this stage.
“Metropolitan Police are in attendance and we are working with all partners to investigate, and ensure the safe and secure continuation of service.
“A number of protesters remain outside the front of the airport terminal and we are working hard to minimise disruption to passengers. As of 12.15pm, there were 55 arrivals and 58 departures.
“If you are flying to or from London City today, please check the status of your flight with your airline before travelling to the airport.”
In a statement announcing the action, Extinction Rebellion said: “Protesters state that air travel, the fastest growing source of carbon emissions, is both inherently unsustainable and unfair, since 30% of the UK’s population take 70% of its flights and over 82% of people in the world have never flown.
“The vast majority of the flights in and out of City Airport are business trips of the elite, yet the catastrophic effects will be felt disproportionately by poorer people, both within the UK and around the world.”
Spokesperson Rupert Read added: “London City Airport is planning to roughly double its numbers of flights.
“It is located in a highly built up area meaning that its flights cause a lot of noise-misery as well, of course, as climate-deadly pollution.
“It is used disproportionately by private jets and by financiers, businesspeople and other members of the polluter elite flying in and out of the City of London, when often they could do what they need just as well by using digital telecommunications.
“This has to stop and Extinction Rebellion are here to stop it.
“If we the people are to have any chance at all of saving our civilisation from climate and ecological collapse, we must first stop making things worse.
“Air travel is an icon of our fragile ‘just-in-time’ economic system. That system will break, as climate chaos hits.
“By non-violently shutting down this airport, in homage to the style of the Hong Kong democracy protesters, we are demonstrating the utter frailty of the transport systems that countries such as ours, unwisely, have come to depend upon.”