There maybe thousands, of activists gathering at Heathrow at the “Camp for Climate Action”, that opened near the terminals on the 14th of August. They are staging a protest against the damage aviation is doing to the planet and in particular objecting to the planned expansion of Heathrow, with the new Terminal 5 due to open sometime in 2008 with a third runway to be installed by 2020. The protest is going to be policed by almost the equivalent number of Metropolitan Police officers who will be there to keep an eye on the radicals.
The gathering is taking place against the wishes of the Government and BAA and they have taken legal action against the protesters. The owners of the land, Imperial College London, have declared the protest illegal. Sunday will see a day of so called “direct action”. There is much speculation about what is actually going to happen, although plans for a disruptive bomb hoaxe have been denied by the protesters. The impersonation of passengers and flight crew is more likely. Even minimal disruption could prove to be frustrating for genuine users. BAA, which owns Heathrow, recently gained an injunction banning protest group Plane Stupid from the airport but other groups were allowed to demonstrate provided they do not disrupt operations.What ever your views aviation accounts for 7 per cent in the
UK, 2 per cent globally, but rapidly growing proportion, of our carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions. This year 50 times more people will travel by air than 50 years ago.