Gatwick airport suspends flights after reports of drones


Gatwick airport has advised travellers to check the status of their flights on Thursday after reports of drones being flown over the airfield forced it to suspend flights.

Two drones were reportedly spotted hovering near a runway on Wednesday evening at what is the UK’s second-busiest airport, prompting air traffic controllers to stop all flights while authorities carried out investigations. Gatwick apologised for the suspension but said the safety of passengers was a priority.

At 3am on Thursday Gatwick said it had reopened. “Our focus is now on working, with the airport community, to catch up on the flight schedule,” a spokeswoman said.

More than 20 flights were diverted to airports across the UK and Europe, including Manchester, Liverpool, Paris, Birmingham and Amsterdam, according to flightradar24, causing major disruption during one of the busiest periods of the year.

Airspace above the west Sussex airport in the early hours of Thursday was empty as authorities searched for the drones.

There were also multiple reports on social media of passengers being held for more than two hours in their plane while they waited for Gatwick airport to reopen the runway.

Flights were being diverted to other airports such as Luton, Heathrow, Stansted and Manchester. Others were also sent as far as Amsterdam and Paris.


Article sourced The Guardian

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