Britain's Gatwick airport reopens after 6-hour shutdown over reports of drones

Virginia Carson
December 20, 2018

"If there is anybody at Luton airport that has been diverted from Gatwick airport and needs a lift home, let me know", he wrote on Twitter.

Gatwick remained closed on Thursday morning, with passengers stranded at the airport or re-routed to other airports.

While most nations prohibit drones from flying in pathways reserved for airliners, the millions of small consumer devices that have been purchased around the world can't be tracked on radar, making it hard for the authorities to enforce the rules.

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

London's Gatwick Airport, the second-busiest in the United Kingdom, has shut down while officials urgently investigated reports that two drones were flying above the airfield.

"We apologise to any affected passengers for this inconvenience but the safety is our foremost priority", it added. He added that passengers had been given the choice between a bus from Stansted to Gatwick, or flying back to Gatwick when the airport reopened.

According to the airport, the drones were first seen at 21:03 GMT on Wednesday, followed by "multiple reports" of sightings.

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Hundreds of travellers were diverted or delayed, with dozens tweeting their frustration at being left on the tarmac.

While some were diverted to other London airports, others have reported being sent as far away as Paris, Bordeaux and Amsterdam.

The incident has caused more than 20 flights to be diverted to airports across the United Kingdom and continental Europe, according to data from the Flightradar24.com website. "We hope the crew keeps you updated".

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All flights to and from the airport were suspended on Wednesday night with planes being diverted to other United Kingdom airports, including Manchester, Luton and Stanstead.

Joe Bond's flight from Belfast was diverted to Birmingham. Got a free can of Coke and Pringles.

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