Heathrow facing flight delays as climate change activists block runway

 
Jessica Morris
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Activists are staging a protest on the Northern runway (Source: Getty)

Passengers flying from Heathrow Airport today could face delays after climate change activists broke into the airport perimeter in the early hours of this morning, and are currently staging a protest on a runway.

"Due to protest activity at the airport, there may be delays and cancellations and you are advised to check your flight status below before travelling to the airport," Heathrow said in an update to passengers.

Around a dozen demonstrators cut through the airport's perimeter fence to get onto the runway at 3.30am today, a spokesperson for direct action group Plane Stupid said.

This meant the runway was closed until around 6.20am.

"A group of people have breached the airport perimeter fence and are currently staging a protest on the northern runway," a Heathrow spokesperson said.

Read more: Sir Howard Davies' Airports Commission report backs third runway at Heathrow

"We are working closely with the police who are dealing with the incident. The southern runway remains open. Our priority remains to ensure the safety of the airport community, including passengers, employees and protester."

Video footage posted online has shown police officers telling activists that their actions could cost the airport "millions of pounds".

"As a consequence of you being here, you are causing severe disruption and it will be in the millions of pounds because it will take us a while to remove you."

"The cost will be in the couple of millions. The airport will attempt to make a civil recovery."

It comes after a report released by the Howard Davies' Airports Commission earlier this month recommended building a new runway at Heathrow, rather than Gatwick.

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