Climate change activists have attempted to disrupt Europe’s largest business aviation conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
The action is the latest in a series of protests headed up by the environmental group Greenpeace aimed at highlighting the environmental impact of private aviation activity.
According to Greenpeace around 100 activists chained themselves to aircraft gangways and the exhibition entrance during the first day of the industry event. They also fixed stickers on aircraft to mark them as “toxic objects” and shouted from Megaphones.
The annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) attracts more than 10,000 attendees from across the world and includes and is organized by the European Business Aviation Association. Visitors and exhibitors cover the entire range of the business and private aviation sector, from aircraft OEMs and fuel suppliers to charter operators, aircraft owners, FBOs, airports, and many more.
According to attendees, the protestors succeeded in temporarily closing the outdoor static display of the event where aircraft are displayed but did not disrupt the indoor exhibition hall. EBACE is held at Palexpo, a conference and exhibition center located next to Geneva Airport.
Increased security measures, including bag searches and photo ID checks, were also being carried out by the event organizers during day one of EBACE, with no changes to the schedule of the event.
Several smaller environmental groups including Stay Grounded, Extinction Rebellion, and Scientist Rebellion were also involved in the EBACE demonstration.
Protests against private and business aviation activity have occurred across Europe since last November when activists succeeded in closing Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. As well as protests at the COP27 climate conference, business airports and FBOs in the UK, Italy, and Germany have been targeted as have business aviation conferences and exhibitions.
Protestors are calling for a total ban on private jet usage and higher taxes on frequent fliers.