Climate activists block private jets from taking off at Schiphol airport

AMSTERDAM, Nov 5 (Reuters) – More than 100 white-clad environmentalists entered the private jet area at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Saturday, stopping several planes from taking off by sitting in front of their wheels.

The protest was part of a day-long demonstration organized by environmental groups Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion against greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution caused by the airport and aviation industry.

There were no delays in commercial flights till late afternoon.

“We need fewer flights, more trains and a ban on unnecessary short-haul flights and private jets,” said Greenpeace Netherlands campaign leader Dewi Sloch.

Schiphol is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the Netherlands, emitting 12 billion kilograms annually, according to the environmental group.

Hundreds of demonstrators in and around the airport’s main hall held placards reading “Restrict Air Traffic” and “More Trains”.

Responding to the protest, Schiphol said it aims to become a zero-emissions airport by 2030 and supports the aviation industry’s goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Military police tasked with airport security said in a statement that they had “detained several persons who were on airport property without permission”.

The Dutch government announced plans in June to cap annual passengers at the airport at 440,000, about 11% below 2019 levels, citing air pollution and climate concerns.

Transport Minister Mark Harpers told parliament last month that his office could not control growing private jet traffic, and the government is considering whether to include the issue in its climate policy.

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Reporting by Toby Sterling Editing by Toby Chopra and Helen Popper

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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