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Expert Witnesses testify in airport protesters trial

The trial of six climate protesters who breached airside security at Manchester Airport began today at Trafford Magistrates Court.

The six defendants will plead not guilty to the charge of aggravated trespass after they formed a human circle around the wheel of a jet in May 2010.

The defense argues that they acted to prevent death and serious injury by stopping emissions from the airport. Greenpeace campaigners mounted a similar defence when they were acquitted of closing down Kingsnorth Power Station.

During the trial, which is expected to last three to four days, the defence will call expert witnesses including Professor Kevin Anderson from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research - University of Manchester, and experts on health and the effects of climate change.

Professor Kevin Anderson will give his expert opinion on aviation and climate change, along with Dr Robin Stott on the health impacts of climate change and Dr Geoff Meaden on the impacts of climate change in the North West.

In November 2009 the airport received planning approval to expand the World Freight Centre at Manchester Airport. Although the coalition government cancelled plans to build a third runway at Heathrow, campaigners are now focussing there action more regionally as capacity is now being increased at regional airports instead.

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