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5 arrested for role in planned Friday drone protest

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London’s Heathrow airport may soon have a new runway that could add nearly $150 billion to the UK economy and create thousands of jobs.
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LONDON (AP) — British police say they have arrested five people over a plan by environmental activists to fly drones near Heathrow Airport.

The Metropolitan Police force says three men and two women, aged between their 20s and their 50s, were arrested in London “on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance.”

A group calling itself Heathrow Pause planned to disrupt Heathrow with drones on Friday to protest plans for a third runway at Europe’s busiest airport.

The group said members Roger Hallam and Mike Lynch-White were arrested while being interviewed at a cafe by a German magazine. Three others were detained in north London.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said Thursday’s arrests were “a proportionate response to preventing criminal activity that could significantly impact on a major piece of national infrastructure.”

Last December, drones all but shut down Gatwick, London’s second biggest airport. Citing fear of a collision with an airliner, authorities shut down the airport’s only runway, forcing hundreds of canceled and delayed flights.

Drone intrusion: Authorities call invasion of London’s Gatwick Airport ‘highly targeted’

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