Published: Thu, December 20, 2018
Money | By Arnold Ball

Flights suspended at Gatwick Airport after drones spotted nearby

Flights suspended at Gatwick Airport after drones spotted nearby

Gatwick is the eighth-busiest airport in Europe and sits behind Mumbai as the world's busiest single-runway air hub.

Gatwick has warned that disruptions could continue into Thursday.

"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. However, the airfield only reopened for a mere 44 minutes before being closed again after a further sighting of the drones.

"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".

Why has Gatwick suspended all flights?

Sussex Police was investigating the incident, it added.

Gatwick airport which remains closed this morning after drones were spotted over the airfield last night and this morning

"Our focus is now on working, with the airport community, to catch up on the flight schedule", the airport spokesman said.

Social media users spoke of flights being forced to head to other United Kingdom airports, including London Heathrow, Luton and Manchester.

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.

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

Flights due to take off remained parked on the runway, while others scheduled to land at Gatwick were diverted to other airports, according to some passengers who took to Twitter to express their annoyance over the situation.

Passengers complained on Twitter that their flights had landed at London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and other cities. It is thought more than 50 flights were affected.

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