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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 June 2006, 17:56 GMT 18:56 UK
Airports' growth protests staged
Heathrow
Heathrow: one of the sites for planned protests.
Environment campaigners have staged a series of protests at airports around the UK on Saturday, in protest at expansion plans.

The action, which is supported by Friends of the Earth and some local councils, was part of the European Day of Action over airport growth.

Protests took` place at Heathrow, Stansted, Luton and Southampton.

They raised issues such as night flights and loss of runway alternation which could increase flight numbers.

Demonstrations and rallies were also held in eight other countries, voicing similar concern about airport expansion across Europe.

'Devastating impact'

Friends of the Earth aviation campaigner Richard Dyer said plans to expand UK airports should be scrapped and with them the "multi-million pounds worth of effective subsidies to the aviation industry".

"If the predicted growth in air travel is allowed to happen it will have a devastating impact on climate change, local communities and the wider environment," he warned.

"The government must keep its promise of tackling climate change and urgently rethink its aviation strategy."

Supporters of the Woodland Trust joined campaigners to highlight their opposition to airport expansion.

The Trust claimed that, at Stansted and Luton, nearly 50 hectares of irreplaceable ancient woodland and fragile natural habitats are under threat of being buried under concrete for runway expansions, while many more neighbouring sites face the long term spectre of total degradation from the relentless rise in pollution.

At Luton Airport, children handed in dozens of mock anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) in protest at plans for a second runway.

Some 30 youngsters, some wearing ear defenders and face masks, presented the duty manager at the airport with the certificates, in action organised by Stop Luton Airport's Plans (SLAP).

No-one was immediately available for comment from BAA, which runs all the airports where the demonstrations were held, apart from Luton.


SEE ALSO:
Heathrow 'should be phased out'
29 May 06 |  London
BAA to shut Heathrow's Terminal 2
27 Mar 06 |  Business
New runway planned for Olympics
25 Oct 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts


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