Repeated drone sightings halt flights at Gatwick Airport

Gatwick said in a statement that it apologised for the inconvenience but had to put safety first. — AP

It is illegal to fly drones within 1 kilometer of an airfield and a police investigation was underway, Gatwick said.

The airport advised people flying or collecting someone from Gatwick on Wednesday or Thursday to check the status of their flights.

Flights at London's Gatwick airport remained suspended early on Thursday, 5 hours after the UK'S second-busiest airport halted them to investigate reports of 2 drones flying over its airfield, inconveniencing passengers days before the Christmas holiday period.

Gatwick is the eighth-busiest airport in Europe and sits behind Mumbai as the world's busiest single-runway air hub. It is thought more than 50 flights were affected.

The runway was briefly re-opened at about 3am, the airport said, but forced to close again about 45 minutes later amid "a further sighting of drones".

The second-busiest airport in the United Kingdom has had to divert flights to Stansted, Luton and Heathrow.

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"Passengers due to take off reported planes being stuck on the Tarmac for more than an hour", the publication added.

FILE PHOTO dated 16/1/2016 of Gatwick airport which remains closed this morning after drones were spotted over the airfield last night and this morning.

Gatwick Airport said airlines were "working to provide affected passengers with hotel accommodation" or provide alternative travel options.

The incident has caused more than 20 flights to be diverted to airports across the United Kingdom and continental Europe, according to data from the Flightradar24.com website.

The 20-year-old from Aldershot said: "We got told there would be some arrangements with coaches for us when we get out the terminal.it was just chaos and they had only two coaches and taxis charging people £600 to get to Gatwick".

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