Gatwick Christmas Chaos: Two arrested over criminal drone use

Two people have been arrested in connection with the “criminal use of drones” which has caused chaos at Gatwick Airport in the run up to Christmas.

A man and a woman were detained by officers “in the Gatwick area” at around 10pm on Friday, Sussex Police said.

Meanwhile, Gatwick Airport said on Saturday morning that the runway is open but passengers are urged to check with their airline before travelling.

Flights from the UK’s second biggest airport were grounded for more than a day after devices were spotted inside the perimeter on Wednesday at around 9pm.

Since then around 1,000 aircraft have been cancelled or diverted affecting approximately 140,000 passengers, a spokesman for the airport said.

Gatwick fully reopened on Friday 21 December with police saying “proactive investigations” were ongoing.

A handful of flights due to arrive into Gatwick on Saturday 22 December have been cancelled, the airport’s website said. They include an easyJet service from Milan-Linate and a TUI flight from Bridgetown, Barbados.

Superintendent James Collis of Sussex Police said: “As part of our ongoing investigations into the criminal use of drones which has severely disrupted flights in and out of Gatwick Airport, Sussex Police made two arrests just after 10pm on December 21.

“Our investigations are still ongoing, and our activities at the airport continue to build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions from drones by deploying a range of tactics.

“We continue to urge the public, passengers and the wider community around Gatwick to be vigilant and support us by contacting us immediately if they believe they have any information that can help us in bringing those responsible to justice.”

Flights were briefly grounded at the airport on Friday evening after a fresh sighting at around 5.10pm but military measures reassured operators it was safe to reopen the runway shortly afterwards.

Despite flights resuming after 70 minutes, airlines were still cancelling and delaying outbound flights into the night.

Military equipment was used on Friday to stop further drone disruption while a range of tactics are in place if any unmanned aircraft are seen inside the perimeter.

TNT News

Photo Credit: Michel Curi

 

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