The British Business and General Aviation Association has hit back at the actions of environmental activists at London City airport
. In the early hours of Wednesday 10 June protestors attempted to disrupt private jet flights by chaining themselves to a business jet.
Campaigners from the protest group Plane Stupid donned pinstripe suits and bowler hats before attaching themselves to the wheel of a Hawker 400A light business jet at the airport in the heart of the UK's capital. The group says the protest was against the "selfishness of private jet use".
Guy Lachlan, chief executive of the British Business and General Aviation Association, which represents the interests of the UK's business and general aviation community, says: "We strongly condemn the misguided disruption by a small number of individuals this morning. Such ignorant stunts harm rather than progress meaningful discussion."
© Plane Stupid
He adds: "Aviation in total contributes about 2% of global emissions. Business aviation is responsible for less than 1% of that 2%. To put that into perspective, in the UK that is equivalent to each of us with a car driving just 12 miles [19km] in a year. I would ask the Plane Stupid people which they think would have a greater economic impact to the UK - each of us driving 12 miles less per year, or abolishing business aviation?"
Business aviation directly contributes £3.5 billion to the UK economy and employs 50,000 people across the manufacturing, maintenance and operation of business aircraft, the BBGA says.
"In a sustainable economy business aviation is far more environmentally efficient than other forms of transport in terms of value-added per unit of emissions. It is obtaining the highest possible ratio of economic benefit to quantified emissions that is key. Prudent use of business aviation, in combination with an infrastructure of other alternative travel modes, boosts the British and European economies, which should be encouraged rather than attacked."
The BBGA says it is "keen to establish a dialogue with Plane Stupid to address the serious issue of transport CO2 emissions, but like many other pressure groups seeking to make a point irrespective of the facts, they seem more interested in attention-seeking than engaging in meaningful discussion. Until we have this dialogue, their activities can only be regarded as a dangerous disruption of other people's legal and economically valuable activity".
London City airport says the protesters attempts to disrupt services were in vain as the 400A had already been grounded with a technical problem "and was not going anywhere".