Gatwick Airport Shuts Down Over Drone Sightings

A woman waits in the departures area at Gatwick airport, near London, as the airport remains closed after drones were spotted over the airfield last night and this morning. // Photo by AP Photo/Tim Ireland via Newscred

Drone sightings have caused Gatwick Airport to shut down its runway, suspending all flights, while authorities conduct an investigation into the situation.

According to the latest update from the airport, the runway remains closed and airlines have cancelled flights up until at least 7 p.m. local time.

“Please do not set out for the airport for your flight without checking with your airline first,” the airport wrote on its official Twitter account. “We’re sorry for the disruption.”


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Gatwick first suspended flights Wednesday evening following reports of two drones flying over the airfield, causing a number of flights to be diverted to nearby airports. A number of other drone sightings took place Wednesday evening into Thursday morning. Airlines worked to provide affected passengers with hotel accommodation or transport, according to the airport, while airport staff looked after passengers stranded in the terminals.

Passengers with a ticket on the Gatwick Express train to Gatwick Airport will be able to travel to Luton Airport at no extra cost. Passengers traveling to Edinburgh with LNER who have an airline ticket will be able to connect with those services free to London Kings’ Cross / London St. Pancras, Stevenage or Peterborough on GTR service only (not on TfL). Gatwick Express will also refund tickets for passengers who cannot travel without charging an administration fee, and tickets dated for today will be valid tomorrow, including prebooked advance tickets on GTR services only. If a customer’s ticket is valid on another network, Gatwick Express will change the ticket without any administration fee.

Budget airline easyJet, which flies through Gatwick, reports that it is offering customers on cancelled flights a free transfer to an alternative flight and hotel accommodation if required. The airline says it will also reimburse any reasonable expenses incurred by passengers who arrange their own comparable alternative transport.

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