UK News: Police confident Heathrow climate protest will not bring chaos - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK NewsPolice confident Heathrow climate protest will not bring chaos

18:00  11 september  2019
18:00  11 september  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Fly drones at Heathrow and you could face life in jail, protesters warned

Fly drones at Heathrow and you could face life in jail, protesters warned Climate change protesters planning to fly toy drones at Heathrow Airport tomorrow have been warned they could face life in jail. © PA The protest action is meant to ground flights. File pic Heathrow Pause - a splinter of the Extinction Rebellion movement - has said it intends to fly the machines in the 3.1-mile (5km) exclusion zone around the transport hub on Friday, potentially disrupting hundreds of flights. © Imagebridge Heathrow Airport says it will work to stay open The action is meant to ground flights and put pressure on the government to take tougher steps to reduce carbon emissions.

Extinction Rebellion protesters are surrounded by police as they protest at London Heathrow Climate protestors become emotional while hold a demonstration at a roundabout outside London But they gave no guarantees the protests will be brought to a halt any time soon – meaning

Extinction Rebellion climate change protesters are planning to shut down Heathrow airport on Created with Sketch. Extinction Rebellion: Climate change protests cause chaos in London. Police is seen as climate change activists demonstrate during the Extinction Rebellion protest , at Canary

Police confident Heathrow climate protest will not bring chaos © Reuters/Toby Melville FILE PHOTO: A jumbo jet takes off shortly before midday from Heathrow Airport in west London

By Kylie MacLellan

LONDON (Reuters) - British police said they were confident an attempt by climate change activists to disrupt London's Heathrow airport with toy drones from Friday would not lead to a repeat of the chaos seen at Gatwick last December.

Drone sightings at Gatwick, Britain's second-busiest airport, led to about 1,000 flight cancellations and disrupted the travel plans of 140,000 passengers in the run-up to Christmas.

The Heathrow Pause group plans to fly toy drones from 0200 GMT on Friday within a 5 km restricted zone around the airport but outside the flight paths of the airport, a step the group said would force the airport to ground flights.

Climate activists ready to risk arrest but not passengers' lives in Heathrow protest

Climate activists ready to risk arrest but not passengers' lives in Heathrow protest Climate activists ready to risk arrest but not passengers' lives in Heathrow protest

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A spokeswoman for Heathrow airport told us it’s confident it has “robust plans” in place to ensure the group’s protest does not result in any disruption to flights. However she would not provide any details on the steps it will take to avoid having to close runways and ground flights, per its safety protocol.

"I'm very confident that we've taken the learning from Gatwick," said London police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor on Wednesday.

"The aviation industry and national policing have been working hard to look at measures to mitigate those issues we saw at Gatwick and I'm confident in the tactics that we've got in place that we won't see a repeat of what happened at Gatwick," he told reporters.

Taylor declined to discuss specific tactics but said the police had robust plans in place which included the ability to detect and identify drones and also the use of counter-drones.

"If people come to the airport intent on committing criminal activity they will be arrested," he said.

"Endangering the life of passengers, flying drones without permission within the exclusion zone, attempting to disrupt the airport is very serious. We will enforce the law and we will use legislation available to us ... to prevent that from happening."

Heathrow Pause, a splinter group of the climate activism group Extinction Rebellion which has disrupted London with high profile demonstrations this year, said it would fly drones at no higher than head level and give the airport one hour's advance notice.

The airport has said the plan is illegal and counterproductive but that it too had robust plans in place to make sure the airport could continue to operate.

(Editing by Stephen Addison)

UK police charge climate activist over Heathrow protest.
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