Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Drones on airfield prompt UKs Gatwick Airport to pause operations

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Lloyd Bates | 20 December, 2018, 10:53

Gatwick announced the runway had reopened at about 3am on Thursday, but 45 minutes later it was shut again after a further sighting of drones.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Gatwick said it was focusing on working with the airport community to catch up on the flight schedule.

Responding to a passenger who complained their plane had been diverted to Stansted, and then Heathrow, British Airways tweeted: 'Gatwick have stopped all arrivals and departures due to a drone, we've been told.

London's Gatwick airport was forced to suspend flights overnight on Wednesday after two drones were repeatedly sighted over the airfield.

It is illegal to fly drones within 1 kilometer of an airfield and a police investigation was underway, Gatwick said.

Early morning services between Jersey and Gatwick have been affected, but passengers are being advised to check in as normal.

What are the restrictions around flying drones near airports?

It is thought more than 50 flights were affected.

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"We also have the helicopter up in the air but the police advice is that it would be unsafe to seek to shoot the drone down because of what may happen to the stray bullets".

Two drones were reportedly spotted hovering near a runway, prompting the airport to stop all flights while it investigated the sightings.

A busy airport 43km south of Britain's capital, London, Gatwick is hosting a variety of short- and long-haul flights and serving as a major hub for the budget carrier easyJet.

Aviation website airlive.net said inbound flights were diverted to a range of United Kingdom airports as well as Amsterdam and Paris.

"Passengers due to take off reported planes being stuck on the Tarmac for more than an hour", the publication added.

It is unclear when flights will be allowed to leave or arrive at Gatwick today.

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

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