Extinction Rebellion: Climate protesters plan to use drones to shut down Heathrow Airport for 10 days

31 May 2019, 14:27 | Updated: 31 May 2019, 15:44

A climate activist group has threatened to use drones to shut down Heathrow Airport for up to 10 days if plans for an expansion are not cancelled. 

Extinction Rebellion, the group that caused widespread travel disruption across London in April, has said it plans to hold a protest on 18 June that will force the closure of Heathrow for the day.

If the one-day protest does not prompt the government to cancel its expansion plans of the airport, the group says it will launch a 10-day protest beginning 1 July.

A statement on the group's website said the demonstration was "not about targeting the public, but holding the government to their duty to take leadership on the climate and ecological emergency".

It added: "Holidaymakers are being given advance notice to change travel plans".

The group is known for its days of demonstrating last month, which saw protesters pitching tents and erecting roadblocks on major streets in London to cause travel disruption for hundreds of thousands of people.

Among the many blockades used was a pink boat that was parked on Oxford Street, and a skate ramp erected on Waterloo Bridge.

Some protesters also used superglue to stick themselves to public transport and to the fence outside Jeremy Corbyn's house.

A small protest was also held at Heathrow, but no flights were disrupted.

More than a thousand Extinction Rebellion demonstrators were arrested.

Heathrow Airport says the planned demonstration with drones is a "reckless action", adding that it "could endanger the lives of the travelling public and our colleagues".

It said: "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 hard-working people prepare to spend a well-earned holiday with their families and friends."

Extinction Rebellion are using the demonstrations to try and pressure the government into pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions entirely by 2025.

The group maintains that governments aren't taking climate change seriously, and should be treating it as a "climate and ecological emergency".