UK's Heathrow Airport suspends flights after drone sighting

09 January, 2019, 00:16 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • Aerial view of Heathrow Airport

"They've only given us one update to say it was because of drone activity in departures", one passenger said, adding that they have not been given an estimate to when they can depart.

Officers based at Heathrow are investigating the sighting.

It comes after last month's disruption at Gatwick Airport after drones were reported.

Via the airport's Twitter account, a spokesperson said, "We continue to work with the Met Police on reports of drones at Heathrow".

Flights out of Heathrow have since resumed, however, departures were halted on Tuesday for about an hour as crews and police investigated the reported sighting at the airport.

Officials confirmed flights resumed at around 6.30pm, but warned there could be some disruption.

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Just before 6pm local-time, a spokesman for Heathrow Airport said they had stopped departures as a precautionary measure.

Both airports responded to the Gatwick incident by ordering military-grade anti-drone technology.

A witness in a plane grounded on the runway at Heathrow said multiple aircraft were waiting for permission to take off before being later told things were starting to move.

Emma Gilthorpe, executive director for expansion at Heathrow, said the proposals were crucial in ensuring the airport remained fit for the future.

More than 140,000 passengers had their flights disrupted and more than 1,000 flights were affected between December 19th and December 21st 2019. The Gatwick closure stranded or delayed more than 100,000 travellers - the worst-ever drone-related disruption at an worldwide airport.

The British army had to be deployed to the airport on December 20 after it grounded all flights. It hosts 81 airlines that fly to 204 destinations in 85 countries, and its most popular destination is NY.

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