Southend Airport: Runway Protest

29 October 2011, 10:20 | Updated: 30 October 2011, 10:16

15 people have been arrested after demonstrators gained access to the runway at Southend Airport.

Police were called shortly after 9am on Saturday (29 October).

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: "15 people gained entry to Southend Airport.

We were deployed very quickly and have arrested them all, and they are in custody.''

Ten women and five men were held in custody, and then released on conditional bail.

They are due to report back to police on the 30th of November.

Campaigners said the demonstration was against the planned expansion of the airport.

A spokeswoman for the protesters said: "Southend Council say the expansion will bring jobs.

But investment in renewable energy would create many more jobs without damaging the climate. What we need is solar power not plane power.

The bigger runway is bad for climate change, bad for local residents under the flight path and is not needed to help the local economy.''

Southend Airport has issued the following statement: "Essex police were called to London Southend airport following a report of suspicious activity at the airport perimeter.

Police swiftly dealt with a breach in the airport perimeter and a number of people were arrested.

The runway was closed for a short period whilst the police responded but no flights were impacted by this event."