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Heathrow Airport granted injunction against potential climate protesters

London Heathrow is Europe’s busiest airport (Steve Parsons/PA)
London Heathrow is Europe’s busiest airport (Steve Parsons/PA)

Heathrow Airport has been granted a High Court injunction against potential environmental protesters on the site.

On Tuesday, lawyers for the airport – the busiest in Europe – appeared before a judge in London to ask for an order preventing demonstrators from trespassing on the site.

Katharine Holland KC, for the airport, told the court that the site was a “clear and obvious target for planned disruptive action” by protesters affiliated with Just Stop Oil and “other environmental campaigns”.

Ms Holland also said the airport was featured in a video published on the Just Stop Oil website, which represented “the identification of a specific threat to this location”.

The court was told that the airport handles more than 1,300 flights and around 227,000 passengers on average daily, with the actions of potential protesters risking “significant” harm.

In written submissions, Ms Holland continued: “There would also be severe disruption to passengers, and the proper operations of the airport more generally.”

At the end of the hearing, Mr Justice Julian Knowles granted the injunction, which lasts for five years and will be reviewed every 12 months.

He said: “If these protesters want to stand on public land near the entrances to Heathrow Airport then they can do.

“What they can’t do is go on to private land and do it.”

Following the hearing, a Heathrow Airport spokesperson said: “We agree that aviation must decarbonise, however disrupting people’s well-earned travel plans with irresponsible action is not the way to deliver the transition to net zero.

“This isn’t a decision we’ve taken lightly, but we cannot condone activity that endangers the safety of our passengers and colleagues.”

The move comes days after Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands airports were given similar injunctions against would-be protesters.

It followed two Just Stop Oil activists being arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after appearing to spray orange paint over private jets at Stansted Airport, with one jet parked in the airfield thought to belong to singer Taylor Swift.