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‘Die-in’ held at Heathrow airport to protest against airport expansion

Climate activist group Reclaim the Power lie on the ground and carry luggage during a protest against airport expansion plans at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain October 1, 2016.
Climate activist group Reclaim the Power lie on the ground and carry luggage during a protest against airport expansion plans at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall

LONDON – More than a hundred people demonstrated at London’s Heathrow Airport on Saturday, including dozens who took part in a “die-in” at one terminal, just weeks before Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is due to decide where to build a new runway.

After a decade of reviews and U-turns, the government is expected to rule in mid-October on whether to build a third runway at Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, or at its smaller London rival Gatwick. Expansion plans have been opposed by residents and some lawmakers at both locations.

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Protesters lay on the floor of Heathrow’s Terminal 2, with many wearing white masks in a so-called die-in to highlight the impact of air travel on climate change and pollution levels.

Climate activist group Reclaim the Power lie on the ground during a protest against airport expansion plans at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain October 1, 2016.
Climate activist group Reclaim the Power lie on the ground during a protest against airport expansion plans at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall

One woman wearing a mask lay next to a banner which read: “Stay Grounded. No New Runways.” Others took part in a cycle ride nearby, wearing red T-shirts with the message: “No 3rd runway”, according to images posted on Twitter.

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A Heathrow spokeswoman said the airport continued to operate as normal during the demonstration.

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Heathrow has said it will comply with an extended ban on night flights and meet European air quality rules if the project gets the green light.

It has also said it will meet 11 conditions set out by Britain’s Airports Commission, including a requirement on air quality which states that new flights will only be permitted if air quality does not breach EU limits.