12 SEP 2019: First BA pilots now drones. Heathrow says it's working closely with the authorities to ensure the airport stays open tomorrow despite protestors threatening to using drones to disrupt its operations. Heathrow Pause wants to prevent the expansion of the airport due to climate change concerns.  

In a statement on its website, Heathrow said: "We'd like to reassure passengers that we will be using our drone mitigation and detection systems, dynamic situation assessments and our partnership with authorities, to minimise any intended disruption and keep you safe.

"Safety is always our number one priority."

The Metropolitan Police said it has a 'robust' plan in place to deal with the protestors 'quickly and efficiently' after studying last year's drone disruption at Gatwick. A range of counter-drone measures are available to officers who will be covering the airport and the surrounding areas, it said.

Police have also condemned the planned action by Extinction Rebellion splinter group Heathrow Pause as a “deliberate and criminal attack” on UK infrastructure.

In its statement, Heathrow said: "We agree with the need to act on climate change but it is through constructive engagement and action that real progress will be made. Attempting to disrupt hard-working passengers and families taking flights, will not solve the issue."

Heathrow Pause say they are “utterly committed to the principles of non-violence, transparency and accountability and to cooperating with the police as far as is possible”.

A spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: "We appreciate the police have a job to do - it's their job to arrest us and we have no problem with them doing that.

"Their families are under threat [from climate change] along with everybody else's. We're all in this together."

Heathrow Pause activists, including Roger Hallam, one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion, claim to have met with police this week. Hallam said: "I'll be flying a drone at head height, some distance from Heathrow. It'll be 100 per cent safe and 100 percent illegal."


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