A team of climate activists in the United Kingdom is arranging to use drones at Heathrow Airport next month in an effort to suspend the airport’s activities for several days or more. The ploy is a protest against the governments move to establish a third runway at Heathrow.
The activist group calling themselves “Heathrow Pause” intends to use small toy drones that will they’ll fly roughly 6 feet off the ground inside the 5km (3 mile) drone no fly zone surrounding the airport. They don’t plan to bring any drones into the direct flight path of the aircraft, and to reduce the chances of causing a threat to any aircraft, the demonstration will take place early in the morning when there are supposedly no scheduled flights in the air space near the airport.
Net zero emissions by 2050
The group made a note of the government’s declaration of a climate crisis as well as its promise to decrease carbon emissions to net zero by the year 2050. The activists say that this goal can’t be achieved if the United Kingdom plans to increase its airport capacity.
A spokesperson for the team of activists said, “Over a thousand children are dying as a result of climate change and ecological collapse – already, every single day. That figure is set to significantly worsen. The government has committed to not just reducing carbon emissions but reducing them to net zero. That is clearly empirically impossible if they build another runway.”
The objective of the demonstration is to shut down the runways and ground flights by taking advantage of what Heathrow Pause is calling a loophole in Heathrow’s health and safety protocols regarding close-proximity drone flights.
In March, airport exclusion zones shifted from a 1km radius to a 5km radius after a series of drone sightings around Gatwick Airport several months prior, resulted in mass disruption for travellers around Christmas time, as the airport was forced to ground flights. It’s this 5km no fly zone that the activist group is exploiting in the hopes of reducing Heathrow’s activities and the carbon emissions that go with it.