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Extinction Rebellion postpone Heathrow drone protest

Extinction Rebellion postpone Heathrow drone protest

Extinction RebellionImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionClimate protesters held a demonstration outside Heathrow Airport on 19 April

A plan by climate protestors to shut down Heathrow Airport with drones on Tuesday has been postponed.

Extinction Rebellion had threatened to cause disruption by flying drones in June and July, in protest against a planned expansion of the airport.

On Friday, police warned those involved they could face a life sentence and urged campaigners to reconsider.

The group has confirmed its plans have been grounded adding the airport would “not have to pause any summer flights”.

Extinction Rebellion had been in talks with its members to stage a demonstration on 18 June and for up to 10 further days in July unless the government cancelled the expansion plans.

However, the group said the action had been called off.

DroneImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe sighting of drones brought Gatwick Airport to a halt just before Christmas last year

“The subsequent accusation that Extinction Rebellion was willing to endanger life is a depressing and predictable smear,” a statement said.

“Extinction Rebellion has not removed Heathrow Airport from its strategic planning,” it added.

Heathrow Airport called the potential action “reckless”, saying it “could endanger the lives of the travelling public and our colleagues”.

A spokeswoman added: “We agree with the need to act on climate change, but that requires us to work together constructively – not commit serious criminal offences.”

Media captionTens of thousands of passengers were disrupted in a drone attack at Gatwick Airport in December

Ten days of protests by Extinction Rebellion activists across London in April saw 1,130 people arrested for various offences.

Pembrokeshire coast drones risk to protected seabirds

Pembrokeshire coast drones risk to protected seabirds

 

ChoughImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionChoughs – a rare corvid species – nest on cliffs on the Pembrokeshire coast

Protected wildlife could be put at risk because of drones flown over a national park, a ranger has said.

One was recently spotted near Stack Rocks, Castlemartin, at a time of year when guillemots and razorbills are ashore nesting.

It was reported to police and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park ranger Lynne Houlston urged drone operators not to disturb birds.

She said guidance has been developed, outlining the issues.

“Birds are particularly sensitive to disturbance during the nesting season and in this case the stacks were covered in thousands of seabirds, precariously perched with eggs on their feet,” Ms Houlston said.

“The cliffs around Stack Rocks also provide nesting sites for kittiwakes, chough, gulls, fulmar and raven.”

Ravens can start nesting as early as March, while from August to November, seal pups – which are protected by law – are born in the caves.

Guidance explains the impact drones can have on seals, wading birds, waterfowl and livestock.


Changi Airport: Drones disrupt flights in Singapore

Changi Airport: Drones disrupt flights in Singapore

  • 25 June 2019

Unauthorised drone flying has prompted disruptions at Singapore’s Changi Airport for the second time in a week.

The country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS) said 18 flights had been delayed, and seven flights diverted due to drones and bad weather.

Last week, one runway was suspended at Changi and dozens of flights delayed after drone sightings.

Airports around the world face growing security concerns as drone use becomes more common.

In a statement on Tuesday, CAAS said: “15 departures and 3 arrivals were delayed and 7 flights were diverted due to bad weather and unauthorised drone activities”.

“Members of the public are reminded that the authorities take a serious view of errant operations of unmanned aircraft which may pose threats to aviation or endanger the personal safety of others,” the statement said.

The agency said investigations are “ongoing”.

CAAS also said offenders could face fines of up to $20,000 Singapore dollars ($14,780; £11,596) or 12 months in prison.

It marked the second time in a week that flights at the Singapore airport – a major international transit hub – had been disrupted by drone activity.

Last Wednesday, CASS said 37 flights were delayed and one flight was diverted after “confirmed sightings of drone flying in the vicinity of Changi Airport”.

Control Tower of Changi International AirportImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionSingapore’s Changi Airport is a major transit hub

An increase in drone flying has become a growing security concern for airports all over the world.

Drone sightings caused travel chaos at Gatwick airport in December, with about 140,000 passengers caught up in the disruption.

The runway at the UK’s second busiest airport was closed for 33 hours over three days – causing about 1,000 flights to be cancelled or delayed.