Gatwick slowly reopening following drone closure

Gatwick slowly reopening following drone closure

The runway at London Gatwick airport has reopened after it was forced to close on Wednesday evening by malicious drone activity.

Officials said the runway is “currently available,” with a limited number of aircraft taking off and landing.

More than 100,000 people were expected to pass through the airport yesterday during one of the busiest times of the year.

However, Gatwick warned the departures and arrivals rate is currently restricted to just a few runway movements every hour.

“Passengers must expect delays and cancellations again today,” explained a statement.

Gatwick continues to strongly advise passengers to check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport.

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More than 700 flights were cancelled yesterday, with arrivals diverted to other UK and European airports.

Gatwick initially saw the runway closed just after 21:00 on Wednesday evening following sightings of drones being flown within the perimeter.

After initially briefly reopening early on Thursday morning, the decision was taken to cancel all flights yesterday.

Police, along with military support, have been searching the pilots of the drones, but they have so far been unable to locate them.

Reports speculate the drones could be flown by environmental activists.

“Overnight we have been able to work with partners, including government agencies and the military, to put measures in place which have provided the confidence we needed to re-open the runway and ensure the safety of passengers, which remains our priority,” Gatwick said in a statement.

“We continue to provide welfare and information to all disrupted passengers who are at the airport and have had teams in throughout the night. 

“Our priority today is to get our operation back on track so that people can be where they need to be for Christmas, and we will update as more information becomes available throughout the day.”