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Transport for London / PCO Licence no 08004/01/01
21 - Dec - 2018

Flights Resume at Gatwick Airport after Drones Caused Disruptions

Flights have resumed at Gatwick airport after drone activity caused the airport to shut down its runway for more than a day.

The airport tweeted: “Gatwick’s runway is currently available and a limited number of aircraft are scheduled for departure and arrival.

“Gatwick continues to advise passengers to check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport as departures and arrivals will be subject to delays and cancellations.”

Speaking to the BBC, Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick’s Chief Operating Officer said Gatwick has reopened due to “additional mitigating measures” after collaboration with government agencies and military.

He said, “We need to do work with both technology providers and governments to address this risk. We have called in government agencies and the military to assist us in getting Gatwick open again to counteract this unprecedented event, this criminal act.”

EasyJet and British Airways have announced they will resume services but advised passengers to check before travelling.

760 flights were cancelled Thursday, affecting around 120,000 people after two drones were reported to be flying in Gatwick’s airfield on Wednesday evening.

Police considered shooting down a device after failure to locate the drones and their pilot. 

Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley however said, “We will do what we can to take that drone out of the sky and remove that disruption so we can get Gatwick back to normal.

“One of the options is to use firearms officers if that presents itself - they have been out on the ground today and that's a consideration and a tactical option that's open to us.

“There are a number of factors in terms of range, the height of the drone and the likely impact on us firing at the drone but that is a tactical option open to the gold commander who will make a decision based on the information available to them at the time.”

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the government was doing “everything we can to make arrangements with other airports”. Among the measures was the lifting of night-flight restrictions so that “more planes can get into and out of the country”. The BBC reported.

Frustrated travellers complained of “freezing temperatures” and some said they had to ditch their festive travel plans.

By Airport Pickups London