Extinction Rebellion activists plan drone disruption at Heathrow

Extinction Rebellion

Activists are planning the protest action for June 18

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Climate change protesters are planning to disrupt flights at Heathrow with drones in protest at plans for a third runway.

Extinction Rebellion activists are set to stage the protest on June 18, with a further 10 days of disruption planned from July 1.

In a document outlining plans for the protest seen by talkRADIO, organisers say they are aiming to "shut down" the airport if their demands for an "immediate cancellation" of plans for the third runway are not met.

"If these demands are not met, we will hold a planned picnic and drone session in the fields around Heathrow on June 18 having given full notice to the Heathrow Authorities of our intention to do so," the document read.

"If following this action on June 18 the government has still not taken immediate action, on July 1, and for up to 10 days, rebels will ues a variety of nonviolent tactics to close down the airport again including, but not limited to, the flying of drones and blocking of public roads leading into the airport."

A drone sighting caused mass disruption at Gatwick Airport last year, resulting in the government tightening the laws on flying drones.

The exclusion zone around airports was extended to approximately 5km, with additional extensions at the end of runways.

And legislation was brought in last year which made it illegal to fly a drone above 400 feet or within 1km of an airport, with these offences carrying a fine of £2,500.

Extinction Rebellion maintain that their protest will be "wholly non-violent and peaceful", and say they will not fly drones whilst planes are in the air.

talkRADIO has contacted Heathrow Airport for comment.

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