Climate activists are causing flight cancellations and delays

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Written By Maya Cantina

Munich. Climate protection activists caused significant disruptions at Munich Airport at the start of the Pentecost holidays. The activists entered the airport grounds early Saturday morning and held onto taxiways next to the runways. According to airport spokespeople and the federal police, the airport was initially completely closed for security reasons. After about two hours, one of the two runways could be put into use, followed about an hour later by the second runway.

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The airport spokesperson said it could take some time before traffic returns to normal on Saturday. “We have a total of almost 1,000 takeoffs and landings planned.” Due to the tight timing of flights, there are still some delays in such cases. Passengers who had booked a flight for Saturday can do so Be sure to contact your airline.

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The so-called last generation announced on Network Numerous police officers and firefighters were on the scene to remove the activists.

Climate activists cut open the fence in four places at the same time

The spokesperson for the federal police said that initially eight people wanted to enter the site at the same time at four different points. The men and women cut through the airport security fence. Two of the activists could have been arrested near the fence, the others were further inside.

As the airport spokesperson explained, initially only scheduled landings in Munich from 5 a.m. were affected, as takeoffs were only allowed to take place from 6 a.m. In the first hour of operation, eight aircraft were diverted to other airports.

Munich Airport was expecting numerous holidaymakers during the first holiday weekend, with a total of around 350,000 passengers expected from Friday to Sunday. Munich Airport wanted to handle 2,860 flights during this period. In total, seven percent more flights were registered during the Pentecost holiday, the second major travel wave of the year after Easter, than the year before, the airport reported before the start of the holiday.

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The previous generation wanted to disrupt the start of the holiday at the airport

According to their own statements, members of the Last Generation planned to enter the airport grounds to block at least one of the two runways. They wanted to disrupt the start of traveling at the start of the Pentecost holidays.

The background to the protest is that air traffic accounts for almost ten percent of Germany’s responsibility for global warming. The aviation sector is being subsidized by the state by waiving kerosene and VAT, the activists criticized. They call for more decisive political action in the face of climate change.

In the past, the group carried out similar actions at several German airports, such as Berlin, Hamburg and Düsseldorf. In Munich there was already a blockade at the airport in December 2022. According to authorities, a plane with an emergency patient on board was only able to land at the Bavarian capital’s airport with a 20-minute delay.

Politicians demand consistent punishment

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser wrote on Platform “

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CSU Secretary General Martin Huber demanded: “The rule of law must be completely tough on these climate chaotic people.” About X he wrote: “The actions of the last generation are life-threatening – to themselves and others.

Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) also says he sees no point in the blockade of Munich airport by radical climate activists. “What’s the point of ruining the start of people’s holidays? Hold us politicians accountable, debate, argue,” he wrote on Platform X on Saturday. “But please do not destroy the most important thing we have in the fight against the climate crisis: the broad consensus in society.”

Airport association criticizes climate activists

The airport association ADV has sharply criticized the blockade of Munich Airport by climate protection activists. “Encroaching into the aviation safety zone is not a trivial offense. “More than a hundred thousand passengers are prevented from starting their Pentecost holiday relaxed and on time,” says ADV director Ralph Beisel. The association supports the call for stricter criminal consequences. “These unsatisfactory gaps in criminal liability in the sentencing of trespassers must be closed,” Beisel demanded.

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He was happy that Munich could respond quickly. “The reporting chains worked well. The intruders were immediately identified and secured.”

rr/RND/dpa

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