Home

London Airport Shut Down For 19 Hours After Drone Sightings

By Sharelle Burt

Share

One of the busiest airports in the United Kingdom was shut down for 19 hours after drones were seen flying over the runway.

More than 65,000 people at Gatwick Airport had their travel plans disrupted when two drones were spotted around 9 pm on Wednesday night, causing a massive shutdown. Reports say that close to 20 separate police units were dispatched to search the property surrounding Gatwick’s airfield to find the drone operator but have been unsuccessful.

The airport’s chief operating officer, Chris Woodroffe, said that during the closure, no planes were allowed to take off or land. He said more drones were spotted around 12 p.m. on Thursday. Euro Control, the European aviation agency, reported that the airport will stay closed until at least 4 p.m. on Thursday with Woodroffe mentioning that he doesn’t know when the airport would open again.

RELATED: This Major Airlike Beat All Others In Discrimination Complaints For 2018

Gatwick Airport, in the outskirts of London, is the second largest airport in the UK, with more than 56 airlines operating daily. The shutdown comes at a horrible time as Gatwick expecting close to three million passengers traveling through the airport during the holiday season. This isn’t the first time a drone interrupted the airport’s traffic. Last year, people were first forced to sleep in the airport and grounded planes after a drone was spotted on the runway.

The CEO apologized to passengers, calling the act “irresponsible.” Police say it was a “deliberate act” but there are no indications that the action is terror-related. Woodroffe also said that the police didn’t want to shoot the drones down because of “what might happen with stray bullets.” The airport is warning passengers not to travel to the property before checking the status of their flight. Gatwick is working with airlines to schedule redirected flights and get the message out to passengers.


Flying a drone and disrupting an airport is a crime with a sentence of up to five years in prison.

Share
Travel Noire

Sharelle Burt

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

53 Countries Later: This Couple Has Advice For Travel Baes

53 Countries Later: This Couple Has Advice For Travel Baes

Even with their busy schedules, Daquan and Jamar make traveling together with each other a priority in their marriage. Daquan is the CEO of Dynasty Spirit Elite All Stars, a successful all-star cheerleading and dance program in Philadelphia, and Jamar is the founder of Urban Gent Entertainment, hosting events around the city. Related Post: The […]

Parker Diakite

British Airways Flight Attendants Get Drunk & Run Naked Through Hotel, Banging On Doors

British Airways Flight Attendants Get Drunk & Run Naked Through Hotel, Banging On Doors

Three British Airways flight attendants have been suspended after allegedly becoming intoxicated and knocking on hotel guests’ doors while naked during a stopover in Singapore. Sources told The Sun that the woman and two men wanted to “have a good time” following their 14-hour flight from London Heathrow. That apparent fun began with a game […]

Parker Diakite

Beware Of This All-Female Pickpocket Gang When Traveling To London

Beware Of This All-Female Pickpocket Gang When Traveling To London

There’s nothing worse than traveling abroad and having your personal belongings stolen. Of things most often taken, smartphones and credit/debit cards rank amongst the highest. Simple things such as public transportation, being in a crowded area or not being aware of your surroundings could put you at risk. South China Morning Post, a media company […]

Stephanie Ogbogu