Drone disruption grounds all flights at Gatwick airport

Josh Peachey's picture

Approximately ten thousand passengers' flights have been affected by flight delays at Gatwick Airport after drones were spotted flying illegally nearby.

All flights have been grounded since the drones were spotted on Wednesday evening. The runway was closed at 9pm last night, sparking a string of delays and diversions.

The airport has been on standstill for longer than 12 hours and Gatwick's chief operating officer Chris Woodroofe said drones had been spotted over the airport as late as 7am this morning.

Gatwick Airport has said that all flights will be disrupted for the rest of the day with 110,000 people due to take off or land at the airport on 760 flights. 

A statement from the airport said "Unfortunately, there are significant delays and cancellations to all flights today." 

Passengers are being told to check the status of their flight before heading to the airport. 

Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, tweeted: "The closure of Gatwick Airport for 12 hours now due to drone flying appears to be a deliberate criminal act with geofencing breached. I’ve previously raised this issue in Parliament and will be again. The sentence is now 5 years in prison but further efforts are clearly required."

Helicopter police are still searching for those flying the drones.