Greta Thunberg participates in demonstration against the expansion of Hampshire airport.
Greta Thunberg, a prominent climate activist, joined forces with members of the local community and Extinction Rebellion advocates in a demonstration against an airport’s proposed expansion.
Farnborough Airport Ltd has requested permission from Rushmoor borough council to raise the annual flight limit from 50,000 to 70,000. The climate activist from Sweden participated in a march from Farnborough town centre, located in Hampshire, to Farnborough airport.
The team released pink smoke flares and displayed banners while advocating for a complete prohibition of private jets, arguing that they produce up to 30 times more pollution than commercial airplanes.
Greta Thunberg stated that the current acceptance of private jet usage, despite the growing climate crisis, is out of touch with reality. She believes this is a prime example of how the wealthy are prioritizing their extravagant and harmful lifestyles over the well-being of the planet for both current and future generations.
If the plans are accepted, there will be a significant rise in the number of non-weekday flights at the airport, increasing from 8,900 to 18,900 per year. This would also permit the use of larger aircraft at the airport. Farnborough airport claims to have a smaller environmental impact compared to other commercial airports, but it remains one of the main sources of employment in the area.
The plans will be reviewed by Rushmoor Borough Council in March.
According to Todd Smith, a previous airline captain and representative for Extinction Rebellion, air travel is the most rapid method of contributing to the destruction of our planet, and private jets are the most harmful form of air travel.
“It seems obvious that in the face of a climate crisis, banning private jets and halting the expansion of luxurious airports would be a no-brainer. Numerous surveys and citizens’ assemblies have consistently shown that this action would be highly favored and widely supported by the general population.”
Sarah Hart, a mother of two and an administrative assistant in Farnborough, expressed her strong disapproval of the airport’s expansion plans. She believes that instead of expanding, we should be implementing a ban on private flying in order to protect the planet and create a livable future for our children.
A representative from Farnborough airport stated that the location serves as a crucial access point for business aviation, with a majority of flights catering to business and corporate travel needs.
He stated that the airport has a much smaller environmental impact compared to a typical commercial airport, but it still provides significant employment opportunities in the area. The airport acknowledges the need to constantly decrease its impact on the environment and is one of the few UK airports to have reached level four-plus in the airport carbon accreditation program.