Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Anthill Mob - Send Mega Messages to London City Airport

More activism against the harmful expansion of aviation and London City Airport this time by a group calling themselves the 'Anthill Mob'.

The Anthill Mob Press release: for immediate use
Photographs below

Eco-protesters reinforce anti aviation expansion message during Copenhagen climate talks

Activists in east London have painted two mega-messages against growth in aviation - and flights at London City Airport in particular - to coincide with the Copenhagen climate summit.

One message saying, ‘Still climate criminals!’ is written in giant letters on the top of a 60ft hill situated just south of London City Airport’s runway. Flights landing and taking off pass directly over the hill.

“It’s a message to the delegates flying to and back from Copenhagen,” explains Elsie Wai, spokesperson for local anti-expansion group, the Anthill Mob. “The conscientious will be taking the train but the selfish will be flying. We’re reminding the selfish delegates that they’ll remain climate criminals until they start thinking green.”

The message also refers to London City Airport’s continuing bid to increase business flights and private jet use. The airport currently has approximately 80,000 commercial flights a year on its timetable. It aims to increase this figure to 170,000 by 2030. “That means more pollution, more global warming and more misery for local people,” says Elsie.

The Anthill Mob’s second message is written in 10ft high letters along the boundary fence of Tate & Lyle’s sugar refinery - situated beside the Docklands Light Railway approach to the airport. The message reads: ‘Drop the sweet talk: no flight expansion at City Airport.’

London City Airport has consistently claimed that it contributes to the local community and that more flights will bring more jobs. However, Elsie Wai says it’s too little, too late.

‘You only have to look around the area next to the airport to see that it is in terminal decline,’ she says. ‘The airport must have made millions in profits but all we have in return is more noise and more pollution.’ Elsie dismisses the jobs claim adding, ’Pretty much everything at City Airport is automated. As it stands, a tiny number of people benefit from employment at the airport while the wider community and the climate suffers.’

Cases of asthma and child mortality are already above the national average in the borough of Newham – where the airport is based. A massive increase in pollution from the airport will further blight one of the poorest areas in London.

For more information contact Elsie Wai on: 07506 006597

Notes to the editor:

Until the downturn, the private jet business was the fastest growing segment of the aviation sector. Over the last ten years it has expanded by almost 50% compared with a growth rate of 19% for commercial flights.

London City Airport is one of the key drivers of the private jet business. The airport currently sees an average of 170 movements (take-offs and landings) per week. The airport’s Jet Centre predicts this figure will increase to more than 530 a week by 2030.