Drones on airfield prompt UKs Gatwick Airport to pause operations

Drones on airfield prompt UKs Gatwick Airport to pause operations

Passengers hoping to jet off for the holidays were delayed at the UK's second busiest airport, in west Sussex, while the sightings were investigated.

"Following reports of two drones flying over the Gatwick Airport airfield we have had to suspend flights while this is investigated", Gatwick Airport said in a statement late Wednesday night. The airport said all incoming and outgoing flights were suspended.

Other fed up fliers had to be diverted hundreds of miles away, with one flight even ending up in Bordeaux, France.

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.

There were multiple reports of drone sightings since the initial report of 2 drones at 2103 GMT on Wednesday, Gatwick said.

Gatwick announced that the runway had reopened at about 3am on Thursday - but just 45 minutes later it was shut again.

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Passengers complained on Twitter that their flights had landed at London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and other cities.

Gatwick normally operates a limited number of flights overnight.

Those meeting someone from a flight have been advised to check the airport's live flight information on its website for up-to-date information.

"Our airlines are working to provide affected passengers with hotel accommodation or transport passengers landing at other airports to Gatwick by other means, and Gatwick staff are looking after passengers in our terminals".

There have been occasional reports of drones almost hitting commercial airliners in the London area in recent years.

Strong sales of small consumer drones have led to repeated warnings about a possible threat to commercial aviation.

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