Seventeen people 9 women and 8 men were arrested by police following a protest at Stansted Airport, Essex. They temporarily halted airport operation preventing take-offs and landings on Tuesday.
Reports suggest those involved were trying to stop a 'Home Office' charter flight which it is claimed was set to deport illegal immigrants and others on the deportation list from the UK and destined for return to West Africa, namely Nigeria and Ghana.
Airport Operations said the runway was closed as a "precaution" but reopened at 23.17 BST.
In total, some 9 women and 8 men were arrested by police, then bailed to appear before magistrates in Chelmsford on May 3rd.
Incoming flights to Stansted were diverted to other airports in the UK, including scheduled arrivals from Naples, Cologne, Glasgow, Riga, Belfast and Bilbao.
Julian Bray Aviation Expert said: "Stansted Airport is the UK security airport of choice and is used as the destination airport for incidents such as hijackings or emergency landings or incidents requiring police, military or RAFjet escort support (ie when a commercial aircraft needs assistance, possibly due to radio comms. failure).
"An academic who sadly seemed to be out of touch with 21st century aviation operations, speaking on regional television news channels earlier today (Thursday) claimed Stansted management had failed and an enquiry should be set up, as trespassing of this type should be prevented.
"Well nothing can be further from the truth. Stansted, a recent acquisition, is part of the Manchester Airport Group, thought to be one of the most progressive aviation management operations in the UK.
"Clearly unless you make UK airports, a locked down prohibited area with highly restricted access and regular continuing military/ police patrols then, from time to time determined protesters will breach perimeter lines."
Essex Police claimed that officers were quickly at the incident and in the process of removing protesters from the aircraft, which was destined for Nigeria.
Acting Assistant Chief Constable Sean O'Callaghan said police "quickly contained" the protesters in one area of the airport.
"We continue to work closely with our partners and the airport authority as we work to apprehend any protesters quickly and effectively," he said.
The protesters posted images on social media, including a picture of people lying on the ground and surrounded by airport security staff and police (who due to current threat levels are routinely armed at airports).
source: PA, CNS, BBCNews, Carters,
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