Manchester Airports Group has twice this week promised this newsletter a prompt statement on the upcoming trial of aviation activists. On both occasions it has failed to deliver, giving no explanation for its breach of promise.
On Wednesday MCFly reported that six activists had entered pleas of “not guilty” to charges of aggravated trespass on May 24 2010. On that date the group had briefly encircled the wheel of a stationary freight plane, before being arrested. These activists will go on trial in February 2011, and are planning to call climate scientists to testify as part of their defence.
In the interests of fairness, Manchester Climate Fortnightly approached both Manchester City Council (which owns 55% of the Airport) and the Airport itself for comment.
To the Council’s credit, it quickly delivered an entirely-expected “ongoing court case therefore no comment” comment.*
The Airport could have – and presumably at some point will – take a similar line. However, MCFly spoke on Wednesday afternoon to an extremely senior figure in Manchester Airport Group’s press team. He assured MCFly of a statement within a matter of hours. Twenty-four hours later MCFly again contacted the press team. Speaking this time to a female, we gave our email address (which is already known to the Airport) and were told a statement “would be sent over immediately”.
Since then, not a dickybird from the home of the big metal birds. It’s almost as if they wish the whole issue of responsibility for emissions would just… fly away.
Some will not be surprised that Manchester Airports Group have adopted this policy. Others, including MCFly’s editor, had probably expected better of them.
[UPDATE: It should be noted that MCFly’s editor is flying (the clue is in the name) away in November, pumping 5 tonne of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But not from Manchester Airport (so that’s alright then).
In partial expiation of his sin, he’ll donate the “offset” money that would otherwise have gone to some scamming carbon trader to a local environmental group that is trying to get the Airport and the Council to see sense. Suggestions welcome.]
*One day Manchester City Council will release a statement accepting responsibility for a proportion of the emissions generated from planes landing or taking off at the Airport. Right now they maintain the convenient fiction that because there is no agreed international sharing out of those emissions, these emissions somehow don’t need to be counted in the carbon budget.