Heathrow Airport Departures Suspended After Reports Of 'Drone Sighting'

Departures from Heathrow Airport in London have been stopped after a potential drone sighting.

Heathrow Airport has confirmed that it has grounded all departing flights while it investigates the situation. The airport in West London is the businest in the UK, as well as being the second businest airport in the world in terms of international passenger traffic.

In a statement, an airport spokesperson said: "We are currently responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with the Met Police to prevent any threat to operational safety.

"As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause."

Heathrow Airport. Credit: PA
Heathrow Airport. Credit: PA

Several passengers stuck at the airport - including those on board aircraft - have also tweeted to confirm that they have been told about the drone sighting.

One tweeted: "We've been sitting on the runway at Heathrow for like an hour and a half. They've only given us one update to say it was because of drone activity in departures."



Another said: "Sitting in a flight, doors closed at @HeathrowAirport T5 only to have the pilot announce that we are now on a long queue of aircrafts waiting to take off due to some #drone activity in the airport..."

This latest incident comes just a few weeks after all flights were grounded at Gatwick Airport after it was reported that drones were seen near the site. More than 140,000 passengers had their flights disrupted and more than 1,000 flights were affected between December 19th and December 21st 2019.

In the aftermath of the Gatwick incident it was announced that new measures would be brought into place regarding drone exclusion areas around airports, as well as competency tests for people owning drones over a certain size.

Heathrow Airport. Credit: PA
Heathrow Airport. Credit: PA

Transport secretary Chris Grayling told Parliament: "The disruption caused by drones to flights at Gatwick airport last month was deliberate, irresponsible and calculated, as well as illegal,

"I am clear the government is taking action to ensure that passengers have confidence their journeys will not be disrupted in future, aircraft can safely use our key transport hubs and criminals misusing drones can be brought to justice."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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