Climate activists block private jet takeoffs from Schiphol Airport

AMSTERDAM, Nov 5 (Reuters) – More than 100 environmental activists dressed in white suits burst into an area where private jets are guarded at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Saturday and prevented several planes from taking off by sitting in front their wheels.

The protest was part of a day of demonstrations in and around the airport organized by environmental groups Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion to protest against greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution caused by the airport and the ‘aviation industry.

No delays on commercial flights were reported in the early afternoon.

“We want fewer flights, more trains and a ban on unnecessary short-haul flights and private jets,” said Dewi Zloch, campaign manager for Greenpeace Netherlands.

The environmental group says Schiphol is the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the Netherlands, emitting 12 billion kilograms a year.

Hundreds of other protesters in and around the airport’s main concourse carried signs saying “Restrict Aviation” and “More Trains”.

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

Military police in charge of airport security said in a statement that they had “made a number of detentions of people who were on airport property without permission”.

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

Transport Minister Mark Harbers told parliament last month that his office could not control the growth in private jet traffic, and the government is considering including the issue in its climate policy.

Reporting by Toby Sterling Editing by Toby Chopra and Helen Popper

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