The Heathrow airport came under threat from drones that were ‘allegedly’ flown by eco-warriors, the ‘Heathrow pause’, a splinter group from the extinction rebellion. While no drones were flown, the group in question attempted to do so within the three-mile exclusion zone surrounding one of the busiest airports in the UK.
The police, it is believed, jammed the radio signals, and prevented the drones from taking to the air and thereby, managed to avert any disaster. Then, they swung into action by arresting two people who were attempting to fly their drones but could not, as a result of a technical glitch. Meanwhile, a wider investigation is being currently carried out by the met police, which has already arrested two more persons, in addition to the two arrested from Heathrow. At this point, it is merely academic if the arrest in question was more of a precautionary measure and whether the two who were taken into custody from Heathrow were booked for causing nuisance or more.
It should also be mentioned that the arrests of the two, including the visually impaired Paralympian James brown, was a result of 7 pre-emptive arrests that included Roger Hallam, the co-founder of extinction rebellion. The 7 were arrested the previous day, well ahead of any planned drone flights. According to James Brown, it seems that nearly 35 people are willing to fly drones around Heathrow and implied that it was not the end of the issue. Furthermore, he claimed that the current attempts to fly drones in the exclusion area were a success on account of the publicity that the event has generated.
Irrespective of how Brown may view the affair, the met police on their part are not taking the issue lightly – given the current ongoing investigation and arrests. The police had swung into action to arrest Brown by entering his home but he had already left for the rendezvous with the rest of the group. The group has threatened to continue flying drones at head height and to ground Heathrow in the process. Currently, Heathrow is facing no disruption and the met would take further action by arresting more members of the group during the planned demonstration, later today.