Extinction Rebellion Calls Off Latest Plan To Disrupt Heathrow Airport With Drones

The climate change campaigners cited "division" across its members for the decision.

Climate change campaigners have called off proposals to disrupt London’s Heathrow Airport using drones this autumn.

Extinction Rebellion said plans to use small drones to bring about “day after day” of chaos across two weeks later this year, first reported by HuffPost UK, were too “divisive”.

The group – which blocked off large parts of central London in April – said in a statement that it had “decided that the action will neither be condoned nor supported as designed”.

It said disagreement with the group’s younger members, known as XR Youth, had revealed “ageism” within its decision-making structures.

XR Youth is said to have demanded that the plan to disrupt Heathrow with drones was dropped.

Extinction Rebellion has embarked on widespread protests across the UK.
Extinction Rebellion has embarked on widespread protests across the UK.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

But in a signal that other climate change activists may disagree with the latest decision, Extinction Rebellion said: “If an action with drones takes place at Heathrow it will be by an independent group.”

The group had earlier said it would use drones to disrupt Heathrow in July, but then scrapped the plan.

A leaked document stated that there was “the opportunity to transform the humble drone into a David which allows us to stop the Goliath of Heathrow and the global aviation industry from destroying us”.

The new plans said drones would be flown no higher than 6 feet and weigh less than 7kg.

The proposal said that the drones would flown away from Heathrow’s designated flight paths, in a bid to ensure “non-violent action”. Travellers and the police would have also been given two months’ notice.

It is understood the timing of the global “autumn rebellion” is around mid to late September.

The Metropolitan Police said previously that those intending to use drones to disrupt aviation would “be dealt with in line with the law”.

Heathrow has said climate change requires “constructive engagement and action”.


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