Saturday 14 September 2019 11:13 am

Heathrow climate change protest arrests rises to 18

The number of people arrested by police during a climate change protest at Heathrow Airport has risen to 18.

Activists threatened to fly drones in Heathrow’s exclusion zone as part of the Heathrow Pause campaign.

Read more: Heathrow Airport remains open as signal jamming blocks devices

The police have arrested 18 people on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance, though no flight disruption has been reported.

The police said that of those arrested only five remained in custody on Friday night with the others posting bail.

Heathrow Pause said one of the arrested, Roger Hallam, a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, still intended to fly a drone on Saturday.

The group said he was released at 10pm on Friday night and would be flying the drone “near Heathrow” around midday with the location “to be announced nearer the time”.

Police reported that those arrested were between 19 and 69 years old.

Heathrow Pause had planned to fly drones within the 5km exclusion zone around the airport on Friday morning but said the airport had used “signal jamming to frustrate” their efforts.

The Met Police said a dispersal order would be in effect until Sunday.

Read more: Heathrow exec warns of potential cost budget bust and likens expansion to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor said: “We are really clear that [flying drones] is unlawful, it is a criminal offence, and anybody who turns up expecting to fly drones in that exclusion zone will be arrested.”

Heathrow Airport added that it was committed to addressing climate change, but suggested it was best done with “constructive engagement and working together to address the issue”.