Police have arrested 19 people, ranging from 19 to 69 years of age, in connection with a planned “drone protest” by climate change activists at Heathrow airport.
Members of Heathrow Pause, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, had planned to disrupt operations at the UK’s busiest airport starting Friday (13 September) using toy drones.
Their plan was to fly the drones in the airport’s restricted airspace to ground flights. However, Heathrow said there was no disruption to its operations as a result.
All 19 of those arrested were arrested “in relation to protest activity taking place in the vicinity of Heathrow airport,” said the Met Police.
They were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance or attempting to commit a public nuisance, the force confirmed.
Sixteen of those arrested have been released on police bail to return to a London police station in October.
It comes after five people were pre-emptively arrested on Thursday afternoon (12 September) in connection with the proposed protest, rising to seven by the end of the day.
Heathrow Pause claimed counter-protest measures such as signal jamming were used to “frustrate” their efforts.
The Met enforced a dispersal order at the airport until Sunday morning (15 September).
Among those arrested was Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion.
Heathrow Pause has said the planned protest was in objection to plans to expand Heathrow airport with a third runway.
The airport in a statement said it was committed to taking further actions to reduce its impact on the climate.