CLIMATE activist Greta Thunberg is protesting at Farnborough Airport.

The protest, taking place on Saturday, January 27, will see Thunberg join hundreds of demonstrators and climate change campaigners from Extinction Rebellion and other groups.

Thunberg condemns "rich elite’s use of polluting private jets", as hundreds of protestors are due to gather outside the airport’s main gate to protest against plans to increase private jet flights from 50,000 to 70,000 a year.

The protesters are also calling for a total ban on private jets, which they say are up to 30 times more polluting than passenger airliners.

Thunberg said: "The fact that using private jets is both legally and socially allowed today in an escalating climate emergency is completely detached from reality.

"There are few examples that show as clearly how the rich elite is sacrificing present and future living conditions on this planet so they can maintain their extreme and violent lifestyles."

Hundreds of protestors will gather in Farnborough town centre at 11am to march alongside Thunberg to Farnborough Airport, setting off pink smoke flares and waving banners proclaiming 'Flying to Extinction', 'Stop Private Flights Now', 'No to Airport Expansion' and 'Private Flights = Public Deaths'.

The march, organised by Extinction Rebellion Waverley and Borders, will gather at the airport’s main gate joined by protestors from Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Alton Climate Action Network, The Quakers, XR Scientists, XR Families, as well as local councillors and residents.

Speakers will include representatives from Extinction Rebellion, Safe Landing, anti-private jet campaign group Possible, No Airport Expansion Group, TV broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham, who has sent a pre-recorded speech, and campaigner Colin Shearn of Farnborough Noise group.

Mr Shearn has an antisocial behaviour injunction served against him by Surrey police for campaigning against the airport.

Todd Smith, former airline pilot and Extinction Rebellion spokesperson, said: "Flying is the fastest way to fry the planet, and private jets are the most polluting way to fly.

"Surely it’s a no brainer to ban private jets and stop expanding these luxury airports in the midst of a climate crisis? Survey after survey, as well as several citizens’ assemblies have shown this would be very popular and has widespread support from the general public.

"For most people, life has become more difficult. The cost of heating our homes, buying food and paying our bills has increased massively. So imagine looking out our windows to see yet more private jets flying billionaires around.

"Is this a fair society that we live in, or is there one set of rules for the majority, and another for the elites? Plans to expand the UK’s largest private jet airport seem to make this clear.”

Finlay Asher, aerospace engineer and member of aviation workers group Safe Landing, said: “As aviation workers, we understand there’s a choice to be made about how we use our limited planetary resources. If we expand private jet flights, then this will consume a large slice of the pie, and leave nothing for anybody else.

"However, there is a positive way forward for society and for our industry: provide genuinely sustainable clean transport for the masses instead, rather than continuing to expand super-polluting private jet airports which cater only to a tiny minority of ultra-wealthy individuals."

The airport’s planning application has been met with widespread opposition by residents and environment and climate campaigners, with over 2,700 comments received, the vast majority of which are opposed to the plans. Rushmoor Borough Council is set to consider the application in March.

A spokesperson for Farnborough Airport said: "Farnborough Airport is an important gateway for business aviation connectivity with the majority of flights being operated for business and corporate travel purposes.

"The Airport’s environmental footprint is a fraction that of a traditional commercial airport, yet it serves as one of the largest employment sites in the region.

"We recognise the importance of continually reducing our environmental impact and we are proud to be only one of a small number of UK airports to have achieved Level 4+ under the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme."