Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 09:41 UK

Climate protest mounted at Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport
Flights were suspended for 20 minutes following the security breach

Protesters have cut through a perimeter fence at Manchester Airport and chained themselves to the wheels of a plane.

Members of the group Manchester Plane Stupid demonstrated against the expansion of the World Freight Centre.

A spokesman for the airport said six people cut a hole in the fence and flights were suspended for 20 minutes following the security breach.

Police were called in to remove the protesters, who started their demonstration at about 0700 BST.

A banner reading "More air freight more climate change. Stop all airport expansion now" was unfurled at the site.

Remote area

The freight terminal, situated off junction 6 of the M56 motorway, currently handles 170,000 tonnes of inbound and outbound freight every year.

The airport is open for business as usual
Manchester Airport spokesman

By 2015 the airport expects to increase that capacity to around 250,000 tonnes of cargo per year.

Annie McLaughlin, from Manchester Plane Stupid, said: "The airport, which is owned by local councils, has kept local residents in the dark about the proposed expansion plans, failing to adequately inform them that their homes face demolition."

She said expanding the freight terminal would be "an environmental disaster".

A Manchester Airport spokesman said: "At around 0710 BST protestors cut through a fence at Manchester Airport and gained access to a remote area of the airfield.

"They also staged a simultaneous protest at the airport's freight centre. The disruption to the airport's operations was minimal and the airport is open for business as usual."

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