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Tue 6 Jan 2009 04:00 AM

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Stansted invasion leads to security outrage

Protests at Stansted airport in Essex, UK, have prompted a call for a review of security.

Protests at Stansted airport in Essex, UK, have prompted a call for a review of security.

At the time of going to press, 49 people had been charged in connection with the protests, which caused major disruption and flight delays.

The charges came after 56 people were arrested at the airport on 8th December, 2008 when campaigners broke through a perimeter fence, causing 52 flights to be cancelled.

Demonstrators campaigning on behalf of the environmental protest group Plane Stupid, claimed they had organised the stunt to raise awareness of the potential environmental impact of airport and runway expansion.

Airline, Ryanair, has called on the airport to review its security measures. All 52 cancelled flights belonged to the budget airline.

Airport operator, BAA described the protest as "unlawful".

Nick Barton, BAA's commercial director at Stansted, told the BBC that airport security staff responded quickly to the incident, but said it would investigate the break-in and learn lessons from it.

In October plans for an expansion of Stansted airport were granted by the UK government.

BAA wants to increase passenger numbers from 25 million to 35 million a year and flights leaving the airport from 241,000 to 264,000 a year.

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