London's Heathrow airport cancels flights after drone sighting

09 January, 2019, 00:15 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Aircraft sit on the tarmac at Heathrow

Just before 6pm local-time, a spokesman for Heathrow Airport said they had stopped departures as a precautionary measure.

Heathrow staff are working with the Metropolitan Police and all flights have been grounded "as a precaution", an airport spokesperson said.

'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.

In response to the chaos at Gatwick, Mr Grayling told parliament on Monday that drone exclusion zones around British airports were being extended and operators would have to register.

Ross added that he had tried to report the sighting to police.

The west London hub apologised for any disruption caused to passengers after flights were suspended for around an hour on Tuesday.

Arriving planes are continuing to land at Heathrow.

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Passengers who were stuck at Heathrow expressed their frustration at having to wait to depart while the airport responded to the sighting.

In December, London's Gatwick Airport shut down for 33 hours after drones were spotted near the airport, affecting 120,000 passengers.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed it had supplied "specialist equipment" to Gatwick during the recent drone incident there, but that no request had been made by the Home Office or Department of Transport for similar support to Heathrow.

Heathrow said it was working closely with authorities including the police and looking at relevant technology to combat the threat of drones.

On Tuesday, the Government announced a package of measures created to give police extra powers to combat drones.

The exclusion zone around airports is now one kilometre (half a mile) and this will be extended to five kilometres.

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