No flights were allowed to take off or land on Wednesday after drones were seen over the airfield
Approximately 10,000 passengers were affected on Wednesday night after two drones were spotted near Gatwick airport around 9PM.
Sussex Police reported that “There is absolutely nothing to suggest that this is terrorism-related.”
Since it is illegal to fly a drone within 1 km of an airport and higher than 400ft, the police are looking for the person flying the drones. Also, they did not want to shoot the drones down due to the risk from stray bullets.
Meanwhile, the most affected by this incident are the people stuck in the airport waiting overnight, or worse, the ones stuck on waiting planes for hours. Pregnant women, children, disabled people, and people with small babies had to sleep on the floor.
The planes unable to land were redirected to other airports such as Manchester, London Heathrow, Luton, and others.
Gatwick staff, as well as staff from the other airports, are doing their best to provide food and water for the waiting passengers, as well as coaches to get them home.
According to Gatwick 110,000 passengers were expected to use the airport on Thursday, however, the European air traffic management, Eurocontrol, declared today that the runway would be closed until 11.00.
But later reports say that around 14:16 today drones could be seen again by Sussex Police hovering over the airfield. This leaves the airport closed indefinitely, probably for the next few days, as stated by Chris Woodroofe, the chief operating officer of Gatwick Airport.
This is definitely creating a precedent and we can expect new stricter measures for the selling and use of drones in the future.