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Heathrow Airport has obtained a High Court injunction to prevent potential environmental protests on its premises, arguing that such demonstrations could cause major disruptions.

On Tuesday, airport lawyers appeared before a judge in London to request an order preventing demonstrators from trespassing. Katharine Holland KC, representing the airport, described the site as a "clear and obvious target for planned disruptive action" by activists associated with Just Stop Oil and other environmental groups.

This move follows the arrest of two Just Stop Oil activists on suspicion of criminal damage after they allegedly sprayed orange paint on private jets at Stansted Airport.

'Aviation Must Decarbonise'

Ms. Holland informed the court that Heathrow was mentioned in a video on the Just Stop Oil website, highlighting a "specific threat to this location." She noted that Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, handles over 1,300 flights and approximately 227,000 passengers daily, with potential protests posing a "significant" risk of harm.

In her written submissions, Ms. Holland stated, "There would also be severe disruption to passengers and the proper operations of the airport more generally."

Mr. Justice Julian Knowles granted the injunction at the end of the hearing, effective for five years and subject to annual review. He clarified, "If these protesters want to stand on public land near the entrances to Heathrow Airport, then they can do so. What they can't do is go onto private land and do it."

A Heathrow Airport spokesperson commented, "We agree that aviation must decarbonise, but disrupting people's well-earned travel plans with irresponsible action is not the way to achieve 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."

This injunction follows similar legal measures taken by Stansted, Manchester, and East Midlands airports against potential protesters. Photo by Ed Webster, Wikimedia commons.