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Travel industry news

20 Dec 2018

BY Rob Gill

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Updated: Gatwick flights remain grounded due to drone activity

All flights to and from Gatwick remain suspended due to the presence of drones flying close to the airport.

GATWICK Aerial view of runway

The Sussex airport had to stop all flights at around 9pm on Wednesday (December 19) due to the sighting of two drones flying near the airfield.

 

Gatwick reopened the runway at around 3am on Thursday (December 20) but it had to be closed at 3.45am after the drones were again spotted near the airport.

 

The airport said in a statement: “Gatwick airport’s runway remains closed and all flights are currently suspended following reports of drones flying over Gatwick’s airfield last night and this morning. There is significant disruption at Gatwick today as a result of what appears to be a deliberate attempt to disrupt flights.


“We are extremely disappointed that passengers are being affected by this, especially at such an important time of year. We are prioritising the welfare of those at the airport by deploying staff into our terminals to look after people as best we can.

 

“We are working hard with our airlines to get information to passengers but would advise anyone booked onto flights from Gatwick, or meeting arriving passengers, not to travel to the airport without checking the status of the flight with their airline or on our website first.”

 

Some flights had to be diverted to other UK airports, as well as Paris and Amsterdam, while other services have been cancelled – around 10,000 passengers have been affected so far. Gatwick is due to handle around 110,000 passengers on 760 flights on Thursday.

 

EasyJet, Gatwick’s largest airline, said: “Like other airlines, we diverted a number of flights due to land at Gatwick to other airports across the UK.

 

“We have offered affected passengers who were diverted ground transportation to reach Gatwick and hotel accommodation was provided. Passengers who arranged their own transportation will be reimbursed by easyJet.”

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