ENVIRONMENTAL activists have vowed to continue their protests against the aviation industry despite being fined more than £2,000 for chaining themselves to Southampton Airport.

The campaigners put up tents and locked themselves to railings outside the terminal building as they set up a “climate change camp” during a three-hour demonstration last month.

With one entrance blocked, dozens of police officers cordoned off road approaches to the airport as they cut free the activists, who say they were highlighting the environmental damage from increased air travel.

Yesterday, just hours after fellow protestors invaded Aberdeen Airport, six members of campaign group Plane Stupid admitting charges of aggravated trespass when they appeared before Southampton Magistrates Court.

The group, including a University of Southampton student and an unemployed English teacher from the New Forest, were handed fines totalling £2,095. Speaking after the case, protestor Andrew Butler said he thought the penalties he and his fellow campaigners received were “extraordinarily steep”, but remains committed to the cause.

“It’s certainly not going to deter us,” he told the Daily Echo.

“We feel this issue is serious enough to warrant having to scrimp and save and endure financial hardship ourselves, because the awful consequences of unchecked climate change are really severe and potentially catastrophic. I think what we did was essential and part of a long history of non-violent direct action in this country.”

No flights were disrupted because of the demonstration, but dozens of airport staff had to leave their posts as passengers were diverted around the terminal building.

Magistrates could have sentenced each of the six, who defended themselves, to three months behind bars, but instead decided on financial penalties.

“You all have principles, beliefs and causes – right or wrong is not for us to say,” they told the defendants.

"But the law is the law, and you have pleaded guilty to breaking the law.

“If you come to court again, I think the courts’ patience might start to wear thin.”

“In mitigation, we’ve heard how your protest was peaceful, and you said that you would have co-operated fully if there had been an emergency. How could you do that when you were chained up with no keys?

A seventh protester pleaded not guilty to aggravated trespass.

Anthony Perrett, 28, from South Wales, will now stand trial before Southampton magistrates in September.