Extinction Rebellion has confirmed it will not be carrying out drone or any other disruptive action at Heathrow Airport in June or July this year.
In response to media scrutiny, the group released a statement saying it would not be causing any disruption to holidaymakers and those planning to use the airport over that period of time meaning the authorities would not have to pause any summer flights.
Commenting on reports of the proposed disruption, the group stated: “Fear and apprehension have swirled around this action since an internal proposal was leaked to media. The subsequent accusation that Extinction Rebellion was willing to endanger life is a depressing and predictable smear.”
It went on to reiterate: “Extinction Rebellion has not removed Heathrow Airport from its strategic planning. The Government’s go-ahead for the Airport authorities to begin building a third runway could not be more incompatible with the imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally.
“What endangers life on this planet is the continued and unfettered release of greenhouse gas emissions that will lead to runaway temperature rise, and the breakdown of life as we know it in the UK and across the world.”
With regards to future action against Heathrow, it detailed that any action taken by Extinction Rebellion adhere completely to its total commitment to non-violence and passenger safety.
As part of its statement released yesterday, it stated: “Drones will NOT be flown within flight paths. If drones are part of any planned Heathrow action, operators will fly them at a maximum height of six feet (1.82 meters) within the restricted 5km zone surrounding Heathrow, but NOT within flight paths as clearly indicated in the map below.
“As an example, advance notice could be given by Extinction Rebellion that a drone might be flown close to head height in a public park in West Drayton, presenting the airport authorities with the opportunity to make an advance decision to safely close air space for the duration of this action.”
It also confirmed that all drones used would be small, lightweight and be flown no higher than six feet (head height), in respect of government legislation that prohibits flying above 400 feet.
The group concluded: “The airport authorities and the general public be given two months’ advance notice of the start date and time of any planned action. Above all, this notice period provides an appropriate period for the authorities to safely plan the closure of the airport for the duration of the action. We hope it also provides members of the general public with sufficient time to seek alternative travel arrangements if necessary.”