London City Airport Latest Target Of Extinction Rebellion

Updated with further information on protests at 1:00 pm Thursday, October 10

Planned protests by Extinction Rebellion are causing disruption at London City Airport (LCY), one of London’s most convenient airports for business.

The airport had advanced notice of a planned protest and began making preparations for them this Tuesday, while also stating its own commitment to sustainable aviation targets.

“The climate change challenge is a matter for everyone, and we are committed to playing our part in achieving realistic plans to rapidly decarbonise,” an airport spokesperson said in a statement. “London City Airport has already reduced emissions by 30% over five years and we are committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, as well as working with partners on initiatives that will significantly reduce overall emissions related to aviation.”

On Wednesday, the airport coordinated with Metropolitan Police on efforts to prevent terminal disruption by pre-clearing by checking boarding passes before allowing passengers to enter the terminal. These checks will continue through he end of the week.

Social media reports this morning suggest that the Extinction Rebellion event has caused considerable congestion outside of the airport’s terminal, as protestors gathered at the Docklands Light Rail (DLR) station for London City Airport.

An airport spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a number of protesters have arrived at London City Airport. We continue to work closely with the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safe operation of the airport, which remains fully open and operational.”

Over 60 flights had arrived or departed LCY as of 9:15 am London time, but the airport encouraged passengers to check their flight status with their airline before heading out.

However, later a visually impaired Paralympic medalist, James Brown, climbed onto the fuselage of an aircraft refusing to get down, forcing the cancelation of a British Airways flight bound for Amsterdam.

A separate passenger boarded a flight bound for Dublin and prevented its departure from London City by standing up in the aisle to give a lecture on climate change.

Both protestors had booked tickets to gain access.

London City’s small terminal is located near the city’s financial centre and offers frequent daily connections to Europe on regional aircraft. While it has long been a popular choice for business travellers headed to other British or European destinations, the airport has been going through a growth plan in recent years to target a greater share of tourism travellers.

The terminal has undergone renovations, and LCY introduced technology to ease security clearance. In September, the airport reported a 22% increase in the number of local residents choosing to fly out LCY for their European holidays rather than traveling further to Heathrow and Gatwick.

“While the airport remains the firm favourite for business travellers across London, it’s clear from this new analysis that more and more local people are taking advantage of our extensive network of destinations, and the convenience of their home airport,” said Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer for London City Airport. “The ‘fly local’ trend is good for passengers and we look forward to continuing to share the benefits of our growth with the community, not just in terms of job creation and educational and charitable contributions, but increasingly as an airport they can use for holidays and business trips.”

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I worked in aviation from 1994-2010 before turning my experience to writing about airlines and airports for leading industry and consumer publications in 2013. I’ve spe

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