Climate activists arrested after Dutch airport breach

Dozens of climate activists campaign on the grounds of Eindhoven Airport, on March 25, 2023. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

THE HAGUE - Dutch border police arrested dozens of climate activists on Saturday, after they breached a secure part of Eindhoven airport to rally against greenhouse emissions from aircraft departing the southern Dutch city.

Around a hundred protesters earlier occupied part of the airport reserved for private jet parking, after breaking down a gate, the Royal Marechaussee (border police) said in a tweet.

“Protesters have been asked since 2pm (9pm Singapore time) to voluntarily leave the terrain. The Marechaussee and police are now making arrests,” said the police.

Dutch media reports said the Extinction Rebellion protesters gathered on a lawn between hangars, but were prevented by officers from getting access to the apron.

Many carried banners and posters and accused the airport, which handles international flights, of causing air and noise pollution damaging to public health.

Some scheduled flights were scrapped on Friday as a precaution ahead of the planned protest, but flight operations on Saturday were not affected, an airport representative told ANP news agency.

Meanwhile, the airport said in a statement that it shared the activists’ view “that aviation, like other sectors, needs to (quickly) become more sustainable”.

“We also feel that sense of urgency. It is partly for this reason that we are not pursuing growth for our air traffic, and instead are prioritising the sustainability of existing air traffic,” it said on its website.

Dutch police in November arrested hundreds of climate activists after they stormed an apron at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

The protesters then cycled around on the apron and sat in front of private aircraft to prevent them from leaving, before being escorted by police to waiting buses to be taken away. AFP

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