Hundreds of environmental activists stormed the fences at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on Saturday, staging sit-ins in front of some private jets, preventing them from taking off for several hours. This protest fell on the eve of the COP27 U.N. Climate Meeting in Egypt. Protesters with the groups GreenPeace and Extinction Rebellion sat in front of the landing gear while other protesters circled the planes on bicycles. In a video released by the Telegraph on YouTube, shows that many of those who sat in front of the planes are wore white clothing while the bicyclists wore neon vests.
The EBAA was alarmed by the protests, posting on social media: "The activist demonstration lead to the grounding of aircraft and included a diversion of a medical flight bound for Amsterdam. Our sector flies up to 70 medical flights a day which save lives when not disrupted. Business aviation is responsible for only 0.04% of global emissions, the protest lacks empathy, is disproportionate and is completely unacceptable."
The EBAA also tweeted about the protest but has since deleted it, telling GlobalAir.com that comments were getting too polarizing and that some staffers had received "hate mail" in their individual email inboxes. Comments for the Telegraph's YouTube video embedded above have also been turned off.A representative for the EBAA said the group is now setting up meetings with stakeholders to address airport safety in wake of the protest."We are shocked the airport stayed open," the representative told GlobalAir.com, noting that protesters first breached the fences and entered the airfield at around 1 p.m. local time but that a NOTAM was not issued until 15:36, around two-and-a-half hours later. The representative said the operator of the medical flight chose to divert to another airport after conducting its own risk assessment, including that one of the aircraft being surrounded by activists belonged to the same operator. Source: ?GreenPeace / TwitterThis protest comes on the heels of other noteworthy recent protests such as the activists throwing soup on a Van Gogh painting at museums in both London and Rome. "This action shows that people no longer accept that aviation is not restricted. Schiphol now actually has to shrink, but they are still building a new terminal and the rich are increasingly taking a private jet here, the most polluting way of flying," Dewi Zloch of GreenPeace Netherlands said in a statement. "It's typical of aviation, which doesn't seem to see that they're putting people at risk by driving the climate crisis. That has to stop. We want fewer flights, more trains and a ban on unnecessary short flights and private jets."Source: GreenPeace Netherlands / TwitterThere have been discussions across the EU about regulating private jets to reduce carbon emissions. Clément Beaune, France's Minister Delegate for Transport, has previsouly mentioned the regulation of private jets in his country while not looking for an outright ban on private jets.RELATED STORIES:JETNET address bizjet sales, sentiment of aviation industry in EuropeBizAv leaders respond as French government discusses banning private jets
The EBAA has consistently outlined the negative ramifications of banning business jets. Leaders in the business aviation industry have had a climate commitment for over a decade and have already been working toward reducing the global impact, noting that the addition of all-electric aircraft to global fleets as well as the implementation of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will lead to environmental improvements for air travel in the coming decades."Over the last 15 years, emissions per hour, per flight, per business aircraft have decreased by 36%," the EBAA said in a September statement. "Europe has a large aviation and technology heritage with state-of-the-art Business aviation manufacturers, making it evermore crucial for aviation and governments to work together."