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PLANE PROTEST: Hemel resident calls for private jet ban

 Published on: 24th February 2023   |   By: Megan Milstead   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Hemel Hempstead resident took part in a protest with environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion last month.

Todd Smith is a former pilot who gave up flying four years ago in his quest to help protect the environment. He is now a spokesperson for the group.

Around 30 people joined the protest, which took place on Valentine’s Day across two sites at Luton Airport.

Protesters blocked the entrance to the Harrods Aviation Terminal and the private jet terminal.

Todd says that a public mandate in 2020 suggested that people want a ban of private jets, but this has been “ignored”.

Extinction Rebellion also want the Frequent Flyer Levy to come into place, a proposal that would tax frequent flyers to help reduce the environmental
impacts.

Todd said: “Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year for travellers so our message was ‘love in action’ and ‘love shouldn’t cost the earth’. The main thing was to raise awareness and that jet fuel is currently tax-free, yet 80 per cent of the world haven’t been on a plane. We’re in a cost-of-living scandal and we need to think hard and fast about what we do in this time.”

A spokesperson for Luton Airport said: “A peaceful protest took place away from the main passenger terminal without causing any disruption to our operation. Flights and access to the airport were unaffected.”

A government spokesperson said: “While we respect the right to protest, people’s day-to-day lives should not be disrupted, and criminal activity will not be tolerated.We remain fully committed to reaching net zero by 2050 and the UK is forging ahead of many other countries with 40 per cent of our power now coming from renewable sources.

“We are ensuring those who fly furthest, and have the greatest impact on emissions, incur the greatest duty which is why from April a new tax band will beintroduced covering flights greater than 5,500 miles from London.”

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