Climate change activists Heathrow Pause announced on social media today, September 13, that they have successfully flown a drone within the 3.1-mile (5km) exclusion zone at London Heathrow Airport.
The group, part of the Extinction Rebellion movement, added that it had attempted three drone flights, as part of a move to disrupt hundreds of Heathrow flights. More drone flights are planned for later today.
In a statement released on Twitter, the airport said, “Heathrow’s runways and taxiways remain open and fully operational despite attempts to disrupt the airport through the illegal use of drones in protest nearby.
“We will continue to work with the authorities to carry out dynamic risk assessment programs and keep our passengers flying safely on their journeys today.”
Using drones within the no-fly zone is part of efforts by Heathrow Pause to halt the airport’s planned expansion.
Heathrow Airport said, “We agree with the need for climate change action, but illegal protest activity designed with the intention of disrupting thousands of people is not the answer.
“The answer to climate change is in constructive engagement and working together to address the issue, something that Heathrow remains strongly committed to do.”
Five activists were arrested in London on the day before the protests. According to the Metropolitan Police, the three men and two women were held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance in relation to operations at Heathrow Airport.