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Extinction Rebellion (Sort of) Disrupts London City Airport

Extinction Rebellion (Sort of) Disrupts London City Airport
Jackie Reddy

Extinction Rebellion has followed-up on its promise to disrupt services at London City Airport (LCY) on Thursday as part of a three-day protest. A male protester made his way onto the roof of the airport while another delayed a Dublin-bound Aer Lingus plane. These protests will finish on Saturday.

Environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion made good on its promise to disrupt services at London City Airport (LCY) on Thursday as part of a scheduled three-day protest, reports One protester managed to make his way onto the roof of the facility while others crowded into the mass transit station that serves London City Airport.

According to a statement on its website released on Wednesday prior to the protests, this action – which was entitled “Fly Today, No Tomorrow” – was meant to, “…involve a ‘Hong Kong style’ occupation of the terminal building, lying, sitting or gluing-on in front of the departure and arrivals gates.”

However, protesters were halted from making their way to the gates thanks to a large police contingent at the airport.

Offering a statement late on Thursday evening, Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport, said, “There are no longer any protesters outside the airport terminal but we continue to work with the Metropolitan Police to ensure that our passengers tonight and tomorrow have a safe and secure service. The airport has remained fully operational throughout the day and has run an almost complete schedule of flights, with just two flights canceled as a result of the protest activity.”

The incident referenced by Sinclair in his official statement occurred when a member of Extinction Rebellion boarded a Dublin-bound Aer Lingus plane from London City Airport on Thursday and delayed the flight in protest.

Video footage captured by The Daily Mail shows the male protester standing in the aisle of the plane and a member of crew calmly attempting to diffuse the situation. He can be heard to say, “I don’t wish to travel but I don’t wish to get off. I’m sorry, I’m very sorry, I’m extremely sorry for the inconvenience. Today there’s a protest at this airport. We have two generations of human civilization left if we carry on doing what you’re doing.”


Passengers can be heard to be protesting the actions of the man, who was eventually removed from the plane by police. As a consequence of the incident, the service had to return to the terminal and refuel.

Explaining the impetus behind the group’s actions, Rupert Read, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion, stated, “London City Airport is planning to roughly double its numbers of flights. It is located in a highly built up area meaning that its flights cause a lot of noise-misery as well, of course, as climate-deadly pollution. It is used disproportionately by private jets and by financiers, businesspeople and other members of the polluter elite flying in and out of the City of London, when often they could do what they need just as well by using digital telecommunications.”

“This has to stop and Extinction Rebellion are here to stop it,” he added.

The group’s staged protest at the airport is set to last until October 12th.

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