Drone sightings ground planes at major British airport

Muriel Colon
December 20, 2018

"We advise everyone flying from Gatwick, or collecting someone from the airport, Thursday 20 December, to check the status of their flight".

Flights at London's Gatwick airport remained suspended early on Thursday, 5 hours after the UK'S second-busiest airport halted them to investigate reports of 2 drones flying over its airfield, inconveniencing passengers days before the Christmas holiday period.

Gatwick said two drones had been spotted over the airfield at 9:03 p.m., local time, and there were "multiple reports of sightings" since.

In their latest statement, Gatwick advised: "Please do not travel to the airport without checking with your airline first".

Sussex Police launched an investigation and Gatwick promised to reopen the runway following "suitable reassurance".

Gatwick Airport, also known as London Gatwick, is a major global airport near Crawley in West Sussex, southeast England, 29.5 miles south of central London.


A police helicopter circulated the airport looking for the drones. "Our airlines have been working to provide affected passengers with hotel accommodation or transport passengers landing at other airports to Gatwick by other means", the statement said.

The airport has apologised and said: "the safety of our passengers and all staff is our foremost priority".

Lyndsey Clarke, from Southend, said she was stuck on a plane for more than four hours after it was rerouted to Stansted.

British Airways (BA) told one customer who complained via Twitter, that Gatwick had "stopped all arrivals and departures due to a drone".

He added: "Update. Got a free can of Coke and Pringles".

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