With the holidays coming airports are packed. However, at the second busiest UK airport, all flights have been halted due to two drones.
There are reports of two drones flying over the London Gatwick Airport. It’s resulting in massive disruptions, delaying flights of thousands of passengers. Approximately 110,000 passengers have been affected. Also, inbound flights were diverted to nearby airports, which include Stansted, Luton, Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham. Other European countries have been affected as well, with flights also being rerouted to Amsterdam, Paris, and Bordeaux. 760 flights have been affected.
LIVE: All inbounds to London Gatwick holding or diverting due to reported drone activity in the area. Police as well as airport security investigating. pic.twitter.com/ULp6ptx4JGAdvertisement
— Airport Webcams (@AirportWebcams) December 19, 2018
The Gatwick Airport sent out a tweet regarding the flight disruptions:
— Gatwick Airport LGW (@Gatwick_Airport) December 20, 2018
The runways were reopened at 3:01 AM Thursday morning. It was about six hours after the initial shut down. However, they were again closed shortly after opening because of more drone sighting reports.
The drones were used to intentionally shut down the airport
So far the authorities have deduced the drones were used to intentionally close the airport. The drones are reported to be “of an industrial specification.” Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw, Gatwick Airport policing commander, said: “We believe this to be a deliberate act to disrupt the airport. However, there are absolutely no indication to suggest this is terror-related.”
At the time of this writing, the airport is still closed. Gatwick Airport has advised travelers to check their flight status for all flights scheduled to arrive or depart on Thursday, December 20th. Local police and aviation authorities will continue to investigate the situation until everything is cleared up.