Gatwick drones: Two arrested over flight disruption

Gatwick drones: Two arrested over flight disruption
Passengers at Gatwick Airport

A man and a woman have been arrested in connection with a string of drone sightings which brought Gatwick Airport to a standstill.

They were arrested in the area at about 22:00 GMT on Friday.

The airport has since reopened but flights were grounded for more than a day affecting about 140,000 passengers after drones were seen near the runway.

Investigations into “criminal use of drones” continued, Sussex Police said, as they appealed for information.

The airport said it aimed to run “a full schedule” of 757 flights on Saturday carrying 124,484 passengers.

But a spokesman added: “Passengers should expect some delays and cancellations as we continue to recover our operations following three days of disruption.”

They also urged passengers to check the status of their flight before travelling to the airport.

Supt James Collis said officers remained at Gatwick, ready to “detect and mitigate” further drone flights by deploying a range of tactics.

He asked passengers and people living nearby to remain vigilant and report any suspicions.

“Every line of inquiry will remain open to us until we are confident that we have mitigated further threats to the safety of passengers,” he added.

Gatwick reopened on Friday morning, although the runway was closed again for a short time after a further confirmed sighting at 17:10.

Around 1,000 aircraft have been cancelled or diverted since Wednesday night.

A spokeswoman for the airport said military measures put in place at the airfield made it safe to reopen.

Eleven inbound flights were diverted to other airports during the latest suspension and, while outbound flights would experience a “knock-on delay”, none had been cancelled, she said.

However, the BBC has been contacted by people claiming their flights were cancelled.

A small number of flights due to arrive into Gatwick on Saturday were cancelled, according to the airport’s website.

They include an Easyjet service from Milan and a TUI flight from Barbados.

A Gatwick spokesman said: “Safety is Gatwick’s top priority and we are grateful for passengers’ continued patience as we work to get them to their final destination in time for Christmas.”

Source:  BBC