Extinction Rebellion members protest outside public consultation meeting on the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport
Extinction Rebellion members have protested outside a public consultation meeting on the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport.
The climate activists and members of 'Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport' displayed banners including 'Act now, stop climate change' and 'Make the world cool'.
Bosses revealed plans for a multi-million pound terminal building to help boost passenger numbers and attract new routes last month - but the protesters are opposed to the potential expansion plans and questioned the eco-sustainability of the idea.
The new terminal will be privately funded by Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA)’s owners AMP Capital and be located closer to the proposed Parkway station that would connect the airport to Leeds by rail.
Ian Pepper, 40, was one of the protesters at the Mercure Parkway Hotel in Leeds today.
He said: "They are going to push for more planes.
"It is going to cancel out the work done by the council for the climate emergency.
"They are [expanding] more than they said they were going to."
Ian questioned whether the public had been given enough notice of the consultations and where they were being held.
He said the plans were not sustainable long term.
Airport bosses say the new terminal will reduce carbon emissions, helping the airport to meet Leeds Council's zero carbon emissions target by 2023.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post last month, Hywel Rees, chief executive of LBA, said: “Leeds Bradford Airport is the global gateway to one of the most beautiful parts of the world, so it is vital passengers get the world class service this new terminal will provide.
“The new building will be more sustainable and efficient, helping the airport meet its net zero carbon emissions target by 2023, while boosting the local economy and securing thousands of jobs.”
Charlotte Lynch, 19, is a student in Leeds.
She said the idea that the plans would be good for the area were "ludicrous".
Charlotte added: "If they cared [about the environment] they would scrap the proposals."
Chris Foren, chair of the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA), said: "The residents of Otley, Yeadon, Horsforth, Guiseley, Rawdon, Adel, Wharfedale, Weetwood, Headingley, Hyde Park and Kirkstall all need to be properly consulted.
"Holding just two events - some distance from where most people live - is completely inadequate.”
A second consultation is due to be held on February 10 at 3pm.
Dru Long lives locally and supports Extinction Rebellion. She said: “The airport’s owners, AMP Capital, know that all the extra flights would mean a massive increase in emissions, noise and air pollution in a city that already has big problems with air quality.”
She added: “AMP are an Australian company. After all the terrible bushfires in their home country, you’d think they would realise how urgently we need to tackle the climate crisis.
But their plans to double passenger numbers at LBA by 2030 will keep us flying headlong into a climate catastrophe.”