Environmental activists from the group Heathrow Pause have warned they are planning to operate small drones around Heathrow next month in an effort to ground flights.
The group, an offshoot of the wider Extinction Rebellion climate movement, has said it expects “somewhere between 50 to a couple of hundred people” to be involved in the planned protest on 13 September, with each person equipped with a drone.
“From 13 September, we will exploit a loophole in Heathrow airport’s health and safety protocols and fly toy drones within its restricted zone,” the group said. “It is our understanding that the airport’s authorities will respond by grounding all flights. Drones will not be flown in flight paths and there will be no risk of harm to anyone.
“We know that we will be arrested. We know that we face significant prison sentences for our actions. We have lives, we have families, we do not wish to go to prison. But we are steadfast in our resolve. We do this in defence of life. We do it because our consciences leave us no other choice but to act.”
Only small, lightweight drones will be flown, and not above head height, said the group in a press release, which added that the airport would be given an hour’s notice before each flight.
Four representatives of the group will meet with the Heathrow Airport Authority, Heathrow Business Resilience team and the Metropolitan Police at Lambeth Police Station on Friday 30 August to discuss the planned protest.