PARIS (AP) — Nine Greenpeace activists were arrested Friday for vandalizing an Air France jet with green paint in an airport eco-protest that raised concerns about security. Aeroports de Paris (ADP), the body that runs Paris’ airports, said the activists got inside Charles de Gaulle airport by scaling a fence at the edge of the tarmac.
With an extendable paint roller, they painted on one side of an Air France Boeing 777, which was parked without passengers, before climbing on the jet. Several of the activists refused to climb down off the plane despite orders from security personnel.
ADP said the demonstrators “were immediately intercepted and contained by the police. They were therefore unable to access the runways. Aviation safety has not been compromised and air traffic continues normally.”
Greenpeace said that the stunt was carried out to raise awareness on “greenwashing” of climate change and environmental regulation. It also said it was organized ahead of a climate bill debate in the French Parliament.
“We would like to firmly remind you that the technological innovations so much praised by the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, will not be enough to stem the climate crisis,” the group said in a tweet.
The National Airline Pilots Union (SNPL) was quick to denounce the stunt, saying that the “intrusion into the airport’s secure area” and “deliberate vandalizing” of an aircraft will result in heavy costs to get the plane cleaned.
The SNPL also defended the aviation industry again the activists’ claims. It said: “Today, companies buy planes that consume between 2 and 3 liters per passenger per 100 km, which is the consumption of a hybrid car.”