New Gatwick drone sighting: Three flights are diverted to Stansted after device ‘was spotted in the skies above the airport‘ four months after it was closed for days causing chaos
Three flights have been diverted to Stansted Airport following reports of a possible drone sighting at Gatwick.
Two easyJet flights – one from Barcelona and one from Amsterdam – initially got sent to Stansted before taking off again to land at Gatwick.
A flight from Heraklion was also diverted.
All three passenger planes eventually landed at Gatwick more than 90 minutes after their scheduled arrival time.
A Stansted spokesman said he did not expect any further diversions on Sunday.
A Gatwick spokesman said the airport investigated a report of an ‘unconfirmed sighting of an object‘ outside its no-fly zone.
He said: ‘Gatwick investigated a report of an unconfirmed sighting of an object outside the airport‘s 5km exclusion zone today but – following a full assessment – the airport has remained fully operational throughout.‘
Chris Tuck was one of the passengers who was diverted to Stansted on a flight from Barcelona.
He wrote on After a disastrous weekend in Barcelona with cabs and horrible hotel. We have now been diverted to Stansted airport because there is drone activity at Gatwick.‘
Some passengers posted pictures on social media of water being passed around while they were stuck on board the plane at Stansted.
One passenger wrote: ‘Apparently there‘s another drone at Gatwick – my plane has been diverted to Stansted.‘
One passenger on board a plane coming into Gatwick a couple of hours later said he was only delay 15 minutes.
He said on Twitter at around 5pm: ‘I was landing in Gatwick barely half an hour ago, and the pilot assessed that we were going to have a little delay because of a Drone, thankfully was just 15 mins.‘
Meanwhile there was some disruption for flyers travelling to and from the country‘s busiest airport after a large fire interrupted train services nearby.
London Fire Brigade said ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters were called to the blaze at an old coal depot in Tavistock Road, West Drayton, three miles north of Heathrow.
A container, an industrial conveyor belt, 15 vans and three articulated lorries were alight, prompting train services in either direction serving the airport to be halted for a couple of hours.
A number of drone sightings forced Britain‘s second-busiest airport to shut down for 33 hours in the week leading up to Christmas, disrupting 140,000 passengers‘ journeys.
The chaos continued despite a huge police operation and the army was eventually called to bring the incident under control.
Military anti-drone equipment, which can detect the flying machines and disable them by jamming radio signals, remained at the airport until March.
Gatwick and Heathrow are investing millions in their own systems to prevent future flight disruption.