What do you get if you cross plane spotting with star spotting?

Here’s the latest twist in the battle for hearts and minds in the UK over aviation and the environment. Pro-aviation grouping Flying Matters has a launched campaign in which it wants the public to spot celebrities who have been vocal critics of the expansion of aviation, if they are seen flying themselves. Number one targets are actress Emma Thompson – click here for her side on a third runway for Heathrow - fellow actress Fay Ripley and singer James Blunt. It says the “light-hearted campaign” aims to highlight double-standards among high-profile anti-aviation campaigners and is calling on the public to help spot them if they take flights themselves. So does this mean we can look forward to a new breed of plane spotter, recording sightings of Emma Thompson just as excitedly as the aircraft registration?

I kept my eyes peeled going through London Gatwick and Dublin airports yesterday and can report no sign of Emma, Fay or James. Or in fact anyone famous at all. My collection of celebrities (which includes a very lost, then Middlesborough football club manager Steve McClaren at Schiphol Airport in what was to become something of a metaphor for England’s 2006 World Cup  qualifying campaign) will have to wait a bit longer.

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