Gatwick Airport shuts over drone fears

Presence of drones in Gatwick airspace obstructs flights

Presence of drones in Gatwick airspace obstructs flights

Flights were grounded at Gatwick Airport after reports of a drone flying over the airfield Flights were grounded at Gatwick Airport after reports of a drone flying over the airfield. Flying a drone within 1km of an airport or airfield boundary was made illegal in Britain at the end of July.

In a statement, the airport said: 'Following reports of two drones flying over the Gatwick Airport airfield at around 9pm, the airfield was closed from 9.03pm on Wednesday, December 19 to 03.01am on Thursday, December 20.

Gatwick officials said two drone were sighted near the runway.

The runway was briefly re-opened at about 3am, the airport said, but forced to close again about 45 minutes later amid "a further sighting of drones".

It is understood two British Airways flights were diverted to Heathrow Airport. It is thought more than 50 flights were affected.

Picture taken with permission from the Twitter feed of Luke Mccomiskie showing the scene inside a plane three hours after it landed at Manchester having been diverted from Gatwick Airport which had been closed because of the sighting of drones.

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Ground vehicles and a police helicopter are now searching for the drone.

Some people reported being left stuck on planes for several hours while they waited to find out what was going on.

The airport suspended all flights late on Wednesday, causing severe disruptions just days before Christmas during one of the heaviest travel times of the year.

The incident has caused more than 20 flights to be diverted to airports across the United Kingdom and continental Europe, according to data from the Flightradar24.com website.

Gatwick added that airlines had been working to provide delayed and diverted passenger with hotel accommodation or transport. Got a free can of Coke and Pringles.

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