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FILE PHOTO: Extinction Rebellion protest in London

Extinction Rebellion delays drone protest at Britain’s Heathrow till after summer


FILE PHOTO: Climate change activists attend an Extinction Rebellion protest outside Heathrow Airport in London, Britain April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

June 16, 2019

By Matthew Green

LONDON (Reuters) – Climate activism group Extinction Rebellion has postponed to later this year a plan to use drones to shut down Britain’s Heathrow Airport, saying it had designed new tactics to allay public fears over safety.

Last month aviation authorities went on the alert when the activists pledged to paralyze Europe’s busiest airport intermittently in June and July to highlight the damage that a planned third runway would cause to Earth’s climate.

Britain’s aviation minister warned any such action would be met with the “full force of the law” and Heathrow Airport said using drones would be ‘reckless’ and could endanger lives.

Extinction Rebellion said it had decided to postpone the action, which was due to start on Tuesday, until after the summer after devising new drone protocols.

“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 group said in a statement.

“The Heathrow Airport authorities will therefore not have to pause any summer flights.”

London’s Metropolitan Police issued a statement on Friday warning that any protestors who disrupted the airport would be dealt with in line with the law.

(Reporting by Matthew Green; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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