Gatwick Airport suspends all flights after drone sightings

The North Terminal at Gatwick Airport. Jeffrey Milstein/Gatwick Airport/PA Wire
The North Terminal at Gatwick Airport. Jeffrey Milstein/Gatwick Airport/PA Wire
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REPORTS of drones flying close to Gatwick has led the airport to suspend all flights in an out of it until further notice.

Flights were first suspended at about 9pm yesterday after two drones were sighted near the airfield.

Gatwick announced the runway reopened at about 3am today – but just 45 minutes later it was shut again.

In a statement, the airport said: ‘Following reports of two drones flying over the Gatwick Airport airfield at around 9pm, the airfield was closed from 9.03pm on Wednesday, December 19 to 03.01am on Thursday, December 20.

‘Unfortunately a further sighting of drones in the vicinity of the airport has forced the runway to be closed again from 03.45am as we investigate the sighting alongside Sussex Police.

‘We will update when we have suitable reassurance that it is appropriate to reopen the runway.’

Passengers faced delays to their travels on Wednesday night as some flights were unable to leave the tarmac while others were diverted to alternative airports.

Some people reported being left stuck on planes for several hours while they waited to find out what was going on.

Gatwick advised anyone flying from the airport, or collecting someone, to check the status of their flight.

A spokeswoman added that airlines were working to provide affected passengers with hotel accommodation or transport for those whose flights were diverted.

Click here for more information and to check your flight.