Magazine - Travel - World - December 21, 2018

Gatwick Airport Shut Down: What We Know So Far

London's Gatwick Airport diverts flights again after suspected drone sighting

LONDON (Blacquire) – London’s Gatwick Airport closes again due to suspected drone sighting after brief opening. Airport first shut down on Wednesday evening due to reports of two drones flying over the airfield. Although the airport reopened in the early morning hours, it remained shut for most of Thursday.

Second Busiest Airport in UK

Gatwick Airport (London Gatwick) is located near Crawley in West Sussex, south-east England,  about 30 miles south of Central London. After London Heathrow, it is the second-busiest airport by total passenger traffic in the United Kingdom.

Drone Sightings

Airport officials shut down Gatwick’s runway since Wednesday night, when reports of repeated drone flights within the airport came in.

Police confirmed that it was not terror-related. However, they said that it was a “deliberate act” of interference and the suspects used “industrial specification” drones.

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Over 100,000 passengers had delayed flights on Thursday and initial reports indicated that the disruption could last “several days”.

Reopening and second closure

On early Friday, airport officials sent out communication that the runway was open again. They clarified that only a limited number of aircraft would depart and arrive.

Authorities report that they had not made any arrests or found the drone operator.

However, new reports that officials spotted another drone at around 5 p.m on Friday led to the second closure. A spokesman confirmed to Blacquire that flights would be suspended again, albeit temporarily.

In the United Kingdom, the unauthorized use of drones can result in fines and imprisonment. Many have called for tougher measures after the disruptions at Gatwick.

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