Drones flying near Gatwick airport have caused major chaos as many flights have been grounded –for at least 15 hours– and plans of thousands of Christmas travellers disrupted.
Flights were halted at Gatwick at 2103 GMT yesterday after two drones were spotted flying near its airfield, triggering the biggest disruption to its operations since a volcanic ash cloud grounded flights in 2010.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman stated that those flying the drones were “irresponsible and completely unacceptable” and voiced sympathy for people having their travel plans upset just days before Christmas.
📢 Have you been affected by the #drones at Gatwick ✈️? If your travel plans have been changed, we’ve made the following arrangements to help get you on the move without any further hassle.
— Gatwick Express (@GatwickExpress) December 20, 2018
PM later made a statement saying: “I feel for all those passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted by this drone activity and the action that has had to be taken in response to it. At this particular time of year this is particularly difficult for people.
“We have already passed legislation in relation to the use of drones. As it has been made clear, the activity we have seen is illegal and those who are caught endangering aircraft can face up to five years in prison. And we’re consulting on further aspects of this including further police powers.
“We will continue to work with the Gatwick authorities in order to bring this to a close such that people will be able to get on to the travel that they were expecting over the Christmas.”
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) December 20, 2018