Plans to expand London’s Heathrow Airport might excite travelers, but it certainly didn’t impress these climate change activists. The Extinction Rebellion activist group has decided to protest the proposed expansion in the most disruptive way possible — by flying drones in the vicinity of the airport, in an effort to shut it down completely. Sure, ruining millions of people’s vacations will certainly draw attention, but maybe not in a good way.
The group has said that it’s considering “nonviolent direct action to ensure Heathrow authorities close the airport” on June 18, and could even “act to shut down the airport for up to 10 days from 1 July” if the government doesn’t meet its demands. A Heathrow spokesperson responded, “This is reckless action that if carried out could endanger the lives of the traveling public and our colleagues.”
They added, “Flying drones near an airport is a serious criminal offense and using drones to deliberately put people’s safety at risk carries a maximum life sentence.”
Last month, the group asked volunteers to intentionally get arrested to cause disruption at London’s Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus, and Marble Arch.
The British government has made it illegal to fly a drone over 400 feet, and within 3.1 miles of an airport.
“We agree with the need to act on climate change,” said the Heathrow spokesperson, “but that requires us to work together constructively — not commit serious criminal offences just as hard-working people prepare to spend a well-earned holiday with their family and friends.”