As climate protestors who breached the static display at EBACE 2023 on Tuesday are released from custody, Geneva Airport said it has not yet been able to quantify the damages.
Swiss Police made 103 arrests on Tuesday after activists from environmental groups including Greenpeace, Stay Grounded and Extinction Rebellion gained access to the static aircraft display. EBACE is the second largest aviation convention globally and over 30 aircraft were on show. Several people then chained themselves to the aircraft and other objects, causing damage and preventing the demonstration from taking place, according to Swiss authorities.
The breach forced Geneva Airport to temporarily shutdown operations and close the static display. During the approximately one-hour traffic disruption, 22 flights were delayed and seven flights diverted to Lyon or Zurich.
According to Swiss Ministère public 103 activists were arrested in the aftermath. 102 were placed in police custody and one activist was sent to juvenile court. The protestors from 17 countries, including five from the UK, remained in police custody for at least 24 hours.
Through a penal order, the Swiss public ministry found all the defendants guilty of invasion of domicile, damage to property and coercion and imposed on all those who had no criminal record a 120-day suspended fine. In addition, one defendant was declared guilty of violence or threats against the authorities, for having injured a gendarme, according to authorities.
All have now been released, according to Greenpeace.
Ignace Jeannerat, deputy head of Communications, Geneva Airport told CJI: “The activists accessed the tarmac from several points. Even if they did not penetrate the main runway or a taxiway, this massive intrusion and their occupation of the EBACE display near the runway required a stoppage of operations. We had no prior information of this incursion. Via the police services, we had been informed of another demonstration scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon.”
“We have not yet quantified the consequences of this intrusion,” he added. However, the question of whether or not to host the event in future is not on the agenda, confirmed Jeannerat.