TWO climate change activists have been arrested at Heathrow Airport this morning as police bust a plot to fly drones over the travel hub.
Both men, who were caught within the perimeter of the UK’s busiest airport, were detained “on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance”, police said.
Police have arrested two climate activists within the perimeter of Heathrow Airport this morning[/caption]
The Met Police said that the arrests were part of an operation to stop a planned disruption at Heathrow which saw five activists detained in London yesterday.
Climate change activist group Heathrow Pause planned to fly drones over the travel hub today as part of a bid to disrupt the airport’s planned expansion
Scotland Yard confirmed Thursday that two men were arrested in Bethnal Green and two women and a man were arrested in Highgate, North London.
Roger Hallam, the co-founder of eco-warriors Extinction Rebellion, was among those detained by police.
Footage showed the campaigner being led away by police after being arrested at a cafe in Bethnal Green, East London.
Fellow activist Mike Lynch-White was also arrested alongside him.
All five were held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance.
Eco group Heathrow Pause has insisted its plans to fly drones within the 5km exclusion zone will still go ahead.
The move would be likely to see flights delayed and cancelled and bring misery to thousands of passengers at Britain’s busiest airport.
Anti-drone equipment was set up on the roof of the airport today as authorities plan to tackle any planned action.
Extinction Rebellion founder Roger Hallam was the five people arrested in London on Thursday[/caption]
Fellow activist Mike Lynch-White was also arrested in Bethnal Green as cops foil a plot to fly drones over Heathrow[/caption]
Heathrow Pause previously released a 22-page document detailing their plot and saying members would be prepared to go to prison.
“We can’t stand aside any longer. As an act of conscience, we have to act.
“From the 13th September, we will exploit a loophole in Heathrow Airport’s health and safety protocols and fly toy drones within its restricted zone.
“It is our understanding that the airport’s authorities will respond by grounding all flights. Drones will not be flown in flight paths and there will be no risk of harm to anyone.
“We know that we will be arrested. We know that we face significant prison sentences for our actions.”
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, said: “We have carried out these arrests today in response to proposed plans for illegal drone use near Heathrow Airport which protest group Heathrow Pause have said will take place tomorrow morning.
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“Our policing plan is aimed at preventing criminal activity which poses a significant safety and security risk to the airport, and the thousands of passengers that will be using it. We have warned previously that arrests would be made if this activity continued.
“In these circumstances, we believe these arrests to be a proportionate response to preventing criminal activity that could significantly impact on a major piece of national infrastructure.
“We remain fully prepared for the planned protest tomorrow, and will work quickly to identify criminal activity and arrest anyone committing offences.”
When is it illegal to use drones?
An unmanned aircraft must not be flown within the flight restriction zone of a protected aerodrome.
Where there is an air traffic control unit a flight at any height is prohibited.
Drones have been banned from flying above 400ft, and within one kilometre (0.6 miles) of airport boundaries.
The use of drones with cameras is also banned in congested areas or at a public event.
Anyone breaching these restrictions will face penalties of up to £2,500 and could be charged with recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or any person in an aircraft.
This has a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Other measures being considered include giving police the power to issue on-the-spot fines of up to £300 for misuse and the ability to seize drones being used irresponsibly.
Anti-drone equipment has been set up at Heathrow[/caption]
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