On Monday, January 16, 2023, the entrance to the small Altenrhein airport was blocked by so-called climate activists. During the WEF, which is taking place in Davos, the airport is increasingly used by business jets. The protest measure is likely to have been directed against them.
As recently as November 2022, the Peoples Air Group considered it unlikely that one would become a victim of activist protests. Altenrhein Airport is too small and insignificant, because the company's own airline only serves Vienna-Schwechat all year round. In the summer months there are a few holiday destinations and otherwise general aviation tends to dominate.
However, the World Economic Forum causes demonstrations at various locations every year that are explicitly directed against the event. This year the climate stickers have obviously also "discovered" the WEF. Since many participants do not use Zurich Airport but Altenrhein as a landing place for their business jets, the access to the terminal was blocked by demonstrators on Monday. However, the action was not officially registered, but the omission of the official demonstration registrations is one of the “trademarks” of the climate stickers.
Scaffolding was erected in the entrance to the terminal. Banners were attached to it. The 12 climate stickers that were on site are said to have at least partially fixed themselves to the structure. The police initially did not intervene, as there is said to have been no immediate danger to the population and flight operations. However, surveillance of the airport area was increased to prevent participants in the rally from illegally entering the security area.
The Peoples Air Group was able to operate its scheduled flights largely normally. Company boss Thomas Krutzler explained to regional media, among other things, that efforts were made to keep flight operations as normal as possible. Due to the local conditions, vehicle access was very limited or not possible at all, but passengers could easily reach the terminal on foot in just a few steps.