UN human rights experts are reviewing a gagging order sought by Surrey Police against Farnborough Airport protester Colin Shearn from Tilford.

Mr Shearn, founder of the Farnborough Noise group, has been served with an antisocial behaviour injunction by Surrey Police for campaigning against the airport, and his case will be heard in court in early February.

But he is refusing to be silenced – giving recent interviews to the Guardian and the Open Democracy website – and revealed at Saturday's Extinction Rebellion protest at the airport that he has provided witness statements to the United Nation's special rapporteur for human rights.

Mr Shearn addressed protesters atop the 'Lightship Greta' at the Flying to Extinction march against private jets at Farnborough Airport on January 27.

He joined Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg and around 1,000 others, marching from Farnborough town centre to the gates of the airport in opposition to plans to increase its cap on flight from 50,000 to 70,000 per year.

27th Jan 2024. Farnborough Airport, UK. 'Flying to Extinction' march and protest against private jets and airport expansion.
Tilford's Colin Shearn, founder of the Farnborough Noise campaign group, addresses protesters at Extinction Rebellion's march against Farnborough Airport's expansion (Marianne Kelly)

Farnborough Airport is used mostly by private jets, and says the uplift – including a doubling of allowed weekend flights – would meet demand for business trips.

But Farnborough Noise says the expansion would increase overflights and environmental harm locally, and endorses Extinction Rebellion's calls for a total ban on private jets, which they say are up to 30 times more polluting than passenger airliners.

Saturday's action was the latest in a series of protests against the airport’s planning application, which seeks to more than double weekend flights and boost the use of heavier, more polluting private jets.

In 2022, there were 33,120 flights to and from the airport, a 27 per cent increase  compared to 2021’s total of 26,007.

Flights to and from Farnborough  averaged just 2.5 passengers per flight.

Currently 40 per cent of flights to and from the airport are empty, according to research by campaign group Possible.

And despite the airport claiming the majority of flights are for business use, the research showed that most Farnborough flights are headed to holiday destinations.

Last September a ‘pets on jets’ service launched to fly dogs and their owners from Dubai to Farnborough and back.