On 16 June, Manchester Plane Stupid disrupted an airport industry conference using helium balloons reading “Happy Retirement”. The balloons floated to the top of the Manchester Central conference venue where they remained with their attached rape alarms ringing loudly.
This occurred just as the industry delegates were posing for a photo shoot for the launch of a new carbon reduction scheme at European airports – which will not include emissions from aircraft. The Airports Council International conference was suspended whilst staff struggled to remove the floating alarms from the ceiling.
Earlier, on 10 June, five Plane Stupid activists, wearing pinstriped suits and bowler hats, cut through the perimeter fence of London City Airport at 2.30am, then formed a human wheelclamp around a business jet at the west end of the runway.
It is thought that the need to avoid sparks around highly flammable aviation fuel slowed down police cutting the activists out of their armtubes. Though police arrived within four minutes, the “wheelclamp” was not removed until 7.54am.
Spokeswoman Nancy Birch said: “Small jets emit between five and 10 times more carbon per passenger than commercial flights. It’s time they were grounded for good.’ The five were arrested for criminal damage and aggravated trespass.