techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com June 26, 2019


Flights grounded at London Heathrow after drone sighting

09 January 2019, 01:40 | Hattie Nash

Passengers at Gatwick airport were left stranded while the drone sightings were investigated

Gatwick airport passengers

The temporary departure shutdown at Heathrow follows the pre-Christmas shutdown of London's Gatwick Airport for parts of three consecutive days due to dozens of reported drone sightings.

A statement on the airport's Twitter account earlier said: "We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with the Met Police to prevent any threat to operational safety".

Heathrow officials said shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday that flight departures have been suspended as a precaution.

Police officers were among witnesses who saw a drone at Heathrow Airport and the military has been brought in to provide assistance, Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said.

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This isn't the first time a drone sighting has disrupted airport departures.

About an hour later, Gatwick resumed operations, saying "The military measures we have in place at the airport have provided us with reassurance necessary to re-open our airfield".

The British government yesterday expanded drone-free exclusion zones around British airports from their previous 1km limit, to about 5km.

Arriving planes however continued to land at Heathrow.

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A senior detective also said at one point it was possible drones hadn't flown over the airport, sowing confusion, but police later insisted the drone sightings were authentic.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said during the incident that he was in contact with the airport about the drone sighting, and had spoken to the home secretary and defence secretary.

David Zuelke wrote: 'Sitting on plane on runway at Heathrow Airport.

Heathrow served 78 million passengers in 2017, with 81 airlines flying to 204 destinations in 85 countries around the world. The drone operator wasn't caught. Exclusion zones are now one kilometre around airports and will be extended to five kilometres.

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