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Protestors Intrude Upon EBAA Event

AIROPS 2023 Conference Interrupted

On 14 February 2023, activists affiliated with UK-headquartered environmental faction Extinction Rebellion (XR)—a group European counter-terrorism police have characterized as ideologically extreme—briefly took over a stage at AIROPS 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.

Held from 13 through 15 February, AIROPS is billed as Europe’s premier event for business aviation flight operations professionals, where ground handlers, airports, and FBOs come to do business with trip-planners and operators.

Vehement, vociferous, and uninvited, the XR activists gained entry to Brussel’s Event Lounge, a trendy, 2,500-square-meter facility well-suited to hosting AIROPS 2023 but apparently lacking adequate security, and ascended the facility’s stage chanting passe slogans and unfurling a banner that read: Make them pay.

The petulant invasion coincided with comparably churlish demonstrations acted out at numerous locations, including private jet terminals at London Luton (LTN), Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), Stockholm Bromma (BMA), Milan Malpensa (MXP), and Lisbon Portela (LIS). A protest was also held outside a Bombardier facility in Victoria, Australia.

Speaking in response to the protests, European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) secretary-general Athar Husain Khan remarked: “Business aviation has a vital role to play in supporting the growth and competitiveness of companies across Europe, and we are determined to do so in a way that is safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible.”

After the E.U. fashion of indulging radical progressivism, EBAA set forth in a statement: “As an educative platform, AIROPS gathers pilots, flight operations professionals, and ground handlers, from all over Europe to discuss topics related to flight operational security, the EU’s landscape for airspace control, as well as the industry path towards achieving net-zero [carbon emissions] by 2050, among others.”

The EBAA’s statement denoted business aviation’s role as a “testbed” for technological development, and enumerated innovations the likes of light composite structures, global satellite positioning (GPS), and winglets.

“These technologies, later adopted by commercial aviation, have significantly contributed to increasing the efficiency of our operations and reducing emissions in the whole aviation sector,” the EBAA fawned.

Days prior, the Corporate Jet Investor’s London 2023 conference was similarly intruded upon by activists representing Fossil Free London and Just Stop Oil. The protestors gained entry to the conference and disrupted an address by EBAA’s much set-upon secretary-general.

Following the kerfuffle, an activist interviewed on condition of anonymity endeavored to rationalize anarchy, trespass, and disturbing the peace by stating he and his fellow protestors are “terrified about the future” and “what the climate is going to do to people around the U.K. and across world.”

The timorous protestor added: “There are lots of things we have to do to deal with that [climate crisis], but the most unjust and gratuitous part of it is the corporate aviation industry. It is a tiny, tiny minute proportion of people who are responsible for a grossly disproportionate share of carbon emissions and those are the people who are going to be most insulated from climate change’s effects.”

Another activist invoked the Affective Fallacy, declaring: “I think it is fundamentally a social justice issue. There are people across the world who are already feeling the impact of the climate crisis. Yet the people inside this building are acting like nothing is wrong. Most people in the world have never sat on a plane, so to then go one step further and start talking about private aviation shows a complete disregard for human life and safety—as well as the safety of our natural environment.”



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