Major UK Airport Shuts Down after Unauthorized Drone Sightings

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Flights were suspended rerouted and delayed for a number of hours until 3 am Thursday local time at Gatwick Airport in England as there were apparent sightings of Drones within the restricted zone of the airport.

The news was picked up by several news sources, according to Reuters, which reported that sightings of two drones flying over airways at the UK’s second-busiest airport grounded all flights and turned away landings for hours beginning late Wednesday evening local time.

Planes were unable to depart, and a number of flights scheduled to land were diverted to other airports, Gatwick said in a statement.

Per the AP:

Passengers complained on Twitter that their flights had landed at London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and other cities. Other flights were sent to France and the Netherlands.

Flights eventually resumed at around 3:00 a.m. local time on Thursday, according to the Guardian, but the airport wrote on Twitter nearly two hours later that further sightings of the drones had forced them to again close the runway.

“We will update when we have suitable reassurance that it is appropriate to re-open the runway,” the official Gatwick Airport LGW account wrote. “…We apologize to any affected passengers for this inconvenience but the safety of our passengers and all staff is our foremost priority.”



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