20 Extinction Rebellion Activists Arrested at Hanscom Field Airport Protest

Activists arrested for blocking private jets at Hanscom Field Airport, protesting expansion plans that would increase private jet services by 300% and harm the environment.

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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20 Extinction Rebellion Activists Arrested at Hanscom Field Airport Protest

20 Extinction Rebellion Activists Arrested at Hanscom Field Airport Protest

On April 22, 2024, at least 20 Extinction Rebellion activists were arrested for blocking the runway at Hanscom Field Airport near Boston, protesting the proposed expansion of 17 new hangars that would increase private jet services by 300%. The protesters, part of the Boston chapter of Extinction Rebellion, stood in the way of private jets to demonstrate against the airport's expansion plans, which they believe will have a negative impact on the environment.

The activists breached the airport's secure perimeter and trespassed on the tarmac, circling the wheels of private jets and standing in front of outgoing plane traffic before being arrested by Massachusetts State Police. The protesters face charges of trespassing and disturbing the peace. Hanscom Field Airport was temporarily closed as a precaution during the incident.

Extinction Rebellion Boston had been planning the nonviolent demonstration for about four months to protest the additional private jet hangars planned for Hanscom Field. The activists argue that the expansion should be stopped, as private jet use is a major contributor to climate change and the climate crisis. "The proposed Hanscom Airport Expansion project is currently undergoing environmental review, and the state administration will closely review the findings," stated Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey.

Why this matters: The protest at Hanscom Field Airport highlights the growing concern over the environmental impact of private jet travel and the role of aviation in contributing to climate change. As activists call for a halt to airport expansions that cater to private jets, the incident raises questions about balancing economic development with sustainability goals.

Extinction Rebellion Boston called on Governor Healey to publicly oppose the airport expansion and all expansion of private airfields for the ultra-wealthy. More than 14,000 people have signed a petition to stop the expansion, stating that only the governor has power over Massport, the Massachusetts Port Authority that operates Hanscom Field. The arrested activists, who were released on bail or personal recognizance, said they were prepared to face the consequences of their civil disobedience to bring attention to the climate impact of the proposed expansion.

Key Takeaways

  • 20+ Extinction Rebellion activists arrested for blocking Hanscom Field runway
  • Protesters opposed proposed expansion of 17 new private jet hangars at airport
  • Activists breached airport perimeter, trespassed on tarmac, and disrupted flights
  • Protesters face charges of trespassing and disturbing the peace
  • Activists call on governor to oppose airport expansion and private jet growth