Heathrow airport: Drone sighting halts departures

Gladys Abbott
January 8, 2019

Departures have been suspended at Heathrow after a suspected drone sighting.

'As a precautionary measure, Heathrow Airport has stopped departures and officers based at Heathrow are now investigating the reports with colleagues from Heathrow Airport, ' the force added.

It said it is working with police to prevent any threat to operational safety and apologised to passengers "for any inconvenience this may cause".

"As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate".

Departures at Heathrow were temporarily stopped after a drone was reported to have been sighted.

A spokesperson for London's Metropolitan Police said they were called just after 5pm to "reports of a sighting of a drone in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport".

"I have already spoken to both the Home Secretary and Defence Secretary and the military are preparing to deploy the equipment used at Gatwick at Heathrow quickly should it prove necessary".

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One frustrated passenger wrote on Twitter: "Stuck onboard a plane in runway at #Heathrow".

One traveller, Simon, tweeted that he was on a plane waiting to take off and there was a "police helicopter over the runway". No arrivals, no departures due to Drone activity in the area'.

The Heathrow closure came less than a month after Gatwick Airport was closed for more than 30 hours following reports of drone sightings.

"The control tower has no idea when will be allowed to depart. - at Heathrow Airport".

"We are committed to delivering expansion responsibly, and we encourage everyone to have their say and take part".

Gatwick closed on the evening of December 19 and for much of the day on both December 20 and 21.

Today, the British government announced a package of measures created to give police extra powers to combat drones. This is to be combined with the ability to issue up to £100 fixed penalty notices on the spot to anyone seen operating a flying toy in a rogue-like fashion, and an extension of exclusion zones around runway ends at airports.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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