Heathrow Airport will not suffer from disrupted flights this summer after Extinction Rebellion announced they would be postponing any action. The climate change activists previously said they planned “to carry out nonviolent direct action [on 18 June] to ensure Heathrow Authorities close the airport for the day, to create a ‘pause’ in recognition of the genocidal impact of high carbon activities, such as flying, upon the natural world.” Extinction Rebellion also stated that if Heathrow didn’t call off their plans for a third runway “they will shut down the hub again for up to 10 days from 1 July.” However, the group has now announced they will not be carrying out any protests on these dates.
They released a statement saying: “Extinction Rebellion will not be carrying out any actions at Heathrow Airport in June or July this year, aimed at causing disruption to holidaymakers and those planning to use the airport in this period.
“The Heathrow Airport authorities will therefore not have to pause any summer flights.”
However, the group has not ruled out any future protests – although they pledge that any which do take place will not endanger passengers.
“Any action taken by Extinction Rebellion with regards to Heathrow Airport will adhere completely to our total commitment to non-violence and passenger safety,” they said.
The activists added that any accusation that Extinction Rebellion was willing to endanger life “is a depressing and predictable smear.”
Should they take action, Extinction Rebellion will not fly drones within flight paths, they would be flown at a maximum of six feet within the restricted 5km zone surrounding Heathrow and they would be small and lightweight.
Extinction Rebellion added: “The airport authorities and the general public will 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.”
They concluded: “The reality is that we do not want to plan any action at Heathrow that leads to the orderly and safe closure of airspace.
“However, Government inaction compels us to act. Our intention is to repeatedly draw attention to the Climate and Ecological Emergency until the Government tells the truth and acts upon that truth.”
Last week, the Met Police issued a warning to activists, cautioning that “anyone caught illegally using a drone can expect to be dealt with in line with the law.”
What’s more “an appropriate policing plan involving specialist officers,” would be implemented should such action happen.
“This plan covers the unique challenges that come with a protest being held at an airport,” said Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor.
“We are determined to play our part in keeping the airspace over London’s airports safe for the thousands of planes flying in and out every week.”
A Heathrow Airport spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “We agree with the need to act on climate change, but that requires us to work together constructively – not commit serious criminal offences just as hardworking people prepare to spend a well-earned holiday with their family and friends.”