close

News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

Flight operations suspended at UK airport after drone sightings

It is illegal to fly a drone within 1 km of an airport or airfield boundary.

Flight operations suspended at UK airport after drone sightings
Image courtesy: Pixabay

London: Flights at UK`s Gatwick Airport have been suspended amid reports of two drones being flown over the airfield. People going to Gatwick to travel or to meet relatives during the main holiday season have been advised to check the status of their flight first. Passengers, who faced delays and diversions after the devices were seen near a runway, were warned disruption could continue into Thursday.

The airport said airlines were "working to provide affected passengers with hotel accommodation" or provide alternative travel options. Those due to depart on Wednesday said planes were left stuck on the Tarmac, while inbound flights were diverted. On social media, passengers spoke of flights being diverted to other UK airports, including London Heathrow, Luton and Manchester.

A spokesman said the airport would update passengers once there had been "suitable reassurance that is it appropriate to re-open the runway". He apologised for any inconvenience and said Sussex Police was working alongside Gatwick staff to investigate the drone sightings. According to the airport, the drones were first seen around 9 pm on Wednesday, followed by "multiple reports" of sightings.

It is illegal to fly a drone within 1 km of an airport or airfield boundary. Flying above 400ft increases the risk of collision with manned aircrafts which is a criminal offence and can invite a sentence of five years in jail.