During the climate protest at Amsterdam Airport, an aircraft belonging to the Austrian company GlobeAir was damaged. In my current interview, company boss Bernhard Fragner comments on this for the first time – and criticises the airport.
The protest lasted several hours. On 5th November, climate activists stormed the business jet area of Amsterdam Airport. Among the companies affected was the Austrian business travel company GlobeAir whose Mustang C510 jet was blocked by some protesters.
The Globe Air founder explained that one of his aircraft was damaged in the action. “One of the activists intentionally or unintentionally, I can’t determine in retrospect, damaged one of our Cessna 510 aircraft,” Fragner said.
The action and the damage to the aircraft also resulted in additional work, he said. “We had to employ seven to eight technicians from our technical team to deal with the case, because the Austrian supervisory authority Austro Control immediately requested an incident report.” On site, he said, they had to hire a technical partner company to assess the damage.
“In addition, our crew could not be deployed on site as they had virtually no access to the aircraft, which is why we had to cancel flights and send another aircraft on a longer positioning flight. I am also concerned about this due to the increased CO2 footprint of the unnecessary flight, no one was helped by the action,” Fragner said.
“Since we also want to take legal action against the action we have added up the costs for the time being and have come to an amount of about 38,000 euros.”
The Globe Air boss also criticises the Airport in the interview:
“For me it is incomprehensible how such a large group of protesters could enter a high security area? We remember, the normal passenger is required to go through the security check of an airport with a maximum of 100ml without being stopped immediately as a suspect. In this particular case, however, hundreds of activists entered the highest security area of the Airport unhindered, even with bicycles and food supplies. I have no understanding for that”.
In principle, he is in favour of everyone being allowed to make their concerns, worries and opinions known, because that is the great value of a democracy, says Fragner. Of course, this also applies to the issue of climate change. But the head of the company also sees clear limits.
For example, he had read a statement by Schiphol CEO Ruud Sondag in which he not only expressed understanding for the protests, but even “welcomes people with their protests”, says the GlobeAir CEO. “I think this is highly interesting in terms of criminal law.”