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Greta Thunberg joins protest against ‘reckless’ airport expansion plans

CLIMATE activists rallied against a Hampshire airport’s “reckless and selfish” plans to boost its use of private jets on Saturday.

Extinction Rebellion organised the march after Farnborough Airport Ltd submitted a planning application to increase its private jet flights from 50,000 to 70,000 a year.

Joining the protest, climate activist Greta Thunburg said that there are “few examples that show as clearly how the rich elite is sacrificing present and future living conditions on this planet so they can maintain their extreme and violent lifestyles.”

The protesters called for a total ban on private jets, which they say are up to 30 times more polluting than passenger airliners.

Activists marched from Farnborough town centre to the airport, setting off pink smoke flares and waving banners proclaiming “Flying to extinction” and “Private flights = public deaths.”

Finlay Asher, aerospace engineer and member of the aviation workers’ group Safe Landing, said: “There is a positive way forward for society and for our industry: provide genuinely sustainable clean transport for the masses instead, rather than continuing to expand super-polluting private jet airports which cater only to a tiny minority of ultra-wealthy individuals.”

According to campaign group Possible, flights to and from Farnborough average just 2.5 passengers per flight.

Protester Chris Neill, who lives in nearby Godalming, said the plan to expand a luxury airport used exclusively by very wealthy people was “reckless, stupid and selfish.” 

Rushmoor Borough Council is set to consider the plans in March.

A Farnborough Airport spokesperson claimed that its environmental footprint is a “fraction” of that produced by a traditional commercial airport. 

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