Flights suspended at London Gatwick Airport after drones spotted

Flights have been suspended from the Gatwick airport after drones were sighted flying over the airfield. The runway has been closed for the second time after repeated reports of drones flying nearby, causing travel chaos for the passengers.

Flights were suspended at about 9 pm on Wednesday after two drones were sighted near the airfield. Later the Airport announced that the runway had reopened at about 3 am on Thursday, but just 45 minutes later it was shut again after further sightings.

Flights due to land at Gatwick are being diverted to other airports. Gatwick has issued a statement apologising for the significant disruption.

Gatwick chief operating officer Chris Woodroofe said police had not wanted to shoot the devices down because of the risk from stray bullets.

It may be mentioned that it is illegal to fly a drone within 1km of an airport or airfield boundary. Flying above 400ft or 120m increases the risk of a collision with an aircraft. Endangering the safety of an aircraft is a criminal offence which can carry a prison sentence of five years.