Photo claiming to show ‘400 jets’ used to fly attendees to COP26 is actually from New Orleans in 2013

The photo shared widely online is actually from 2013 and was actually taken from the New Orleans Lakefront Airport.
Credit: VERIFY
Tweet from Dinesh D’Souza that falsely says a photo from 2013 is from the COP26 climate conference.

More than 120 world leaders are gathered in Glasgow for the U.N. Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which began on Oct. 12 and lasts through Nov. 12. 

A photo shared by thousands of online users claims to show 400 jets that were used to fly the attendees to the conference. 

“These are the 400 jets used by #COP26Glasgow attendees to get to a conference on reducing emissions and fossil fuels. Clearly there will be fierce competition here for the Hypocrisy Awards,” Dinesh D’Souza wrote on Twitter. That tweet had more than 9,000 retweets and over 23,000 likes. 

D’Souza is a political commentator who pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign laws and then was pardoned in May 2018 by former President Donald Trump. He has around 1.8 million followers on Twitter.

THE QUESTION

Does this photo show the jets used by COP26 attendees to fly into Glasgow for the climate summit?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, this photo was taken in 2013 and shows the New Orleans Lakefront Airport ahead of the 2013 Super Bowl, which was hosted in New Orleans. 

WHAT WE FOUND

Using reverse image search, VERIFY could trace this image to an article from Aviation International News (AIN) that was published on Feb. 5, 2013, two days after the Super Bowl was hosted in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

The article was about how the New Orleans Lakefront Airport “nearly reached its imposed limit of approximately 600 aircraft” during the weekend of the game. The photo used at the top of the article is the same photo being used online in the COP26 “400 jets” claim. 

The photo was credited to David G. Spielman, who is a New Orleans-based photographer.

VERIFY could confirm the photo was taken from New Orleans Lakefront Airport using Google Maps street view. The same buildings, driveways and road patterns seen in the shared photo can be seen via satellite imagery.

Credit: Google Maps

This YouTube video showing the airport during Super Bowl weekend, taken from a Flightline First plane, also shows the same scene seen in the photos. The parked planes, buildings and road pattern can be seen at just past the 1-minute mark. 

More from VERIFY: No, the volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands will not cause a ‘mega tsunami’ as conspiracy theorists suggest

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