Nine arrested over airport protest
Tuesday 03 March 2009
Scottish police arrested nine environmental activists who broke through a fence at an airport today to protest expansion plans, officials said. A dozen flights were canceled.
Aberdeen Airport's international arrivals hall is being upgraded, and the runway is on track to be extended to accommodate more travelers. The airport serves about 3 million passengers a year.
The protesters, who belong to the group Plane Stupid, said the airport's expansion would increase greenhouse gases linked to global warming. They broke through a perimeter fence and set up a barricade on a helicopter taxi-way.
Officials said about a dozen flights were canceled and delays were expected to linger throughout the day.
The demonstrators were dressed as golfers — a reference to real estate magnate Donald Trump's plans to build a hotly-debated golf resort in the area.
Trump's plans have come under fire from environmentalists, because it will be built on a stretch of shifting sand dunes that are home to some of the country's rarest wildlife, including skylarks and otters.
Photos on the group's Web site show them playing golf with plastic clubs at the airport after surrounding themselves with metal fences.
The site said the protesters entered the Aberdeen Airport taxiway at 0215 GMT when the runway was closed and their intent was to "prevent the scheduled reopening of the runway at 5 am"
Plane Stupid also disrupted operations in December at Stansted airport north of London in a protest against a possible second runway and escalating carbon emissions. Dozens of flights were canceled and police made dozens of arrests.
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