London’s Heathrow Airport remained open Friday despite plans by climate-change activists to disrupt flights by flying drones close to the travel hub.
The activists, a group called Heathrow Pause, had planned to halt flights by flying drones within 5 kilometers of the airport. The point was to push the government to move more aggressively to cut carbon emissions, but Reuters reported Friday that the effort was stymied when the drones did not fly and the airport carried on normally.
The airport said on its website that its runways and taxiways “remain open and fully operational despite attempts to disrupt the airport through the illegal use of drones in protest nearby.”
Heathrow Pause said the airport was using signal jamming to frustrate early flights; the airport said it would “continue to work with the authorities to carry out dynamic risk assessment programs and keep our passengers flying safely on their journeys today.”
Two men were arrested Friday in connection with the protest, following arrests of five others Thursday.
Airport officials have called the drone protests “reckless,” saying they “could endanger the lives of the traveling public and our colleagues,” and the airport’s statement Friday 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.”
A British law enacted last year prohibits the flying of drones within 5 kilometers of any airport. It was the result of drone protests in December 2018 and January 2019 that grounded or diverted more than 1,000 flights at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, affecting tens of thousands of travelers.