Heathrow airport says it aims to stay open during drone disruption

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A British Airways passenger plane prepares to land at the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London March 28, 2008.. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photo/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Heathrow Airport said it will work to ensure it stays open and can operate safely during planned drone disruption by climate activists due to start on Friday.

A group calling itself Heathrow Pause has said it plans to disrupt the airport with toy drones from Sept. 13, a step they hope will ground flights and put pressure on the government to take tougher steps to reduce carbon emissions.

The airport said in a statement: “In order to ensure that our operation remains open and safe, we are working closely with a number of stakeholders including the police, (air traffic controllers) NATS and (aviation regulator) CAA to ensure that the UK’s hub airport does not close.”

“We have in place dynamic risk assessment programs which are carried out by airfield and security experts and at no time will safety be compromised,” it added. “Alongside drone detection capabilities, we will mitigate the impact of this illegal action and operate in a way that is safe at all times.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout and Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison