Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Heathrow Airport says suspending departures after drone sighting

Heathrow Airport says suspending departures after drone sighting

All flights from London's Heathrow airport were halted on Tuesday (local time) after the airport said there had been sightings of a drone near Europe's busiest air hub.

"As a precautionary measure, Heathrow Airport has stopped departures and officers based at Heathrow are now investigating the reports with colleagues from Heathrow Airport", they said.

"We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow", the airport said.

Another wrote; "Grounded at #Heathrow whilst waiting to fly home to Manchester, first officer says flights suspended whilst police investigate possible #drone activity".

ITV reporter Sarah Rodgers was among those now grounded at Heathrow. "We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause".

Transport Minster Chris Grayling said the military are "preparing to deploy equipment used at Gatwick should it prove necessary".

Departures at Heathrow Airport have been stopped after a drone was sighted.

"We've been sitting on the runway at Heathrow for like an hour and a half", another person said.

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

York said he is "absolutely certain that there was a drone flying throughout the period that the airport was closed".

Nadim Baig said it was just his "luck" to have his flight grounded before it was due to take off.

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

She told the BBC: "At the moment, we've been told we're not going anywhere".

The reported sightings follow the pre-Christmas shutdown of London's Gatwick Airport for parts of three consecutive days - also due to reported drone sightings. More than 140,000 passengers had their flights disrupted and more than 1,000 flights were affected between December 19th and December 21st 2019.

Today, the British government announced a package of measures created to give police extra powers to combat drones.

The exclusion zone around airports will be extended to approximately a three-mile radius, with extensions from runway ends.

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