Munich Airport Shuts Down After a Most Sticky Situation

Police detained 6 climate activists who glued themselves to runway access roads
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 18, 2024 6:30 AM CDT
Munich Airport Shuts Down After a Most Sticky Situation
Climate activists lie on an access road for runways at the Munich airport on Saturday.   (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP)

German authorities closed down Munich Airport temporarily on Saturday after six climate activists broke through a security fence and glued themselves to access routes leading to runways, officials and local media reported. The activists from the group Last Generation were protesting flying, the most polluting form of transportation, said the German news agency dpa. Police have detained the six, per the AP.

Incoming flights had to be diverted to other airports, an airport spokesperson said. After a couple of hours, the airport's two runways were reopened, though some disruptions to flight schedules may happen, a statement on the airport's official website said. Last Generation posted on the social media platform X, accusing the German government of "downplaying" the negative effects of flying on the environment instead of "finally acting sincerely."

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser slammed the protests and called for them to stop. "Such criminal actions threaten air traffic and harm climate protection because they only cause lack of understanding and anger," she wrote on X. Faeser also applauded police efforts to bring order back to the airport and called for airport safety measures to be checked. The general manager of the German Airports Association, Ralph Beisel, sharply criticized the climate activists' actions.

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"Trespassing the aviation security area is no trivial offense," he told dpa. "Over hundreds of thousands of passengers were prevented from a relaxed and punctual start to their Pentecost holiday." Beisel also called for harsher penalties for activists who break into airports. Climate activities blocked flights at Hamburg and Duesseldorf airports for several hours in July. In January, Last Generation—with members known for gluing themselves to streets to block traffic, which has infuriated many Germans—said it would abandon the tactic and move on to holding what it calls "disobedient assemblies." (More Munich stories.)

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