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Gatwick airport forced to shut runway due to 'suspected drone'

Gatwick airport forced to shut runway due to 'suspected drone'

The busy London airport had to be closed down for an hour because of what appeared to be a drone

Incoming flights to Gatwick Airport were suspended for almost an hour after there were reports of a drone flying near the place.

A total of 12 planes had to be diverted elsewhere amidst the disruption because of the alert, with an airport spokesperson saying the decision had been made as passenger security was their 'absolute priority'.

It's not the first time suspected drone interference near the airport has caused chaos for travellers, as a particularly jarring series of incidents in 2018 caused a huge number of flights to be either delayed or cancelled.

That time around 1,000 flights were disrupted or called off altogether, but thankfully, the disruption was significantly reduced this time.

Today (14 May) the disruption didn't even last an hour, beginning just before a quarter to two in the afternoon and ending shortly after half past two.

Even the hint of a drone presence can force major airports to close for a while.
TravelMuse / Alamy Stock Photo

"Passenger safety is the airport’s absolute priority and – following established procedures – operations at London Gatwick were suspended temporarily at 1344, while investigations into the sighting of a suspected drone close to the airfield took place," A spokesperson for the airport said.

"These investigations have now completed and the airfield reopened at 1435.

"Twelve inbound aircraft were diverted to other airports during the investigation, however, we expect many of these to return to London Gatwick today."

The situation at Gatwick has since returned to normal, at least until the next troublemaker decides to cause an incident.

Featured Image Credit: TravelMuse / Alamy Stock Photo/Jochen Tack / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, Technology, News