A sea of protest against airport expansion across Europe as a new breed of campaigner emerges

Thousands expected at Frankfurt protest on Sunday.

A new report from HACAN, outlining the huge protests against airport expansion that are taking place across Europe, has been published just days before thousands of people are expected to converge on Frankfurt Airport on Sunday to mark the first anniversary of the opening of its controversial fourth runway. Every Monday evening since it was opened by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel up to 5,000 residents have occupied the airport’s terminal in protest against the impact the new runway has had on their lives. Many thousands more are expected at Sunday’s protest.

The HACAN report, A Sea of Protest across Europe, reveals that in the last two years plans for a third runway at both Munich Airport and at Heathrow, as well as new airports in the Italian towns of Siena and Viterbo, have had to be dropped in the face of public protest.

The report found that a new kind of airport protester is emerging across Europe:

“In previous decades campaigns against airport expansion tended to be isolated and local, focused on noise and other local impacts. The new protests are very different. They are concerned not only with local impacts such as noise and community destruction but also with the wider issues of climate change and biodiversity. And they are beginning to challenge the economic need for the new runway or new airport”.

The report adds: “Local people are being joined by experienced environmental campaigners and activists as well as sympathetic politicians. The wide-range of people involved in the campaigns means that they are increasingly well-informed, well-organised and politically aware. They also are prepared to use creative actions and social media in adopting a pro-active campaigning style”.

Campaign groups are also making links with each other. John Stewart, the Chair of HACAN and author of the report said, “It’s a new ball game compared with just a few years ago. Campaigners are in regular contact with each other through social media and by meeting up face-to-face on a regular basis. I have been asked to speak at the Frankfurt demonstration on Sunday. In the last year I have met with campaigners in Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and Nantes.”


Notes for Editors:

(1). Report attached

For further information:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6641

Jochen Krauss 0049 – 170 – 38 44 622 (for details of the Frankfurt protest on Sunday)