London Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, halts flights following another ‘drone sighting’

Piloting a drone the rules

Departures from Heathrow Airport in London have been stopped after a potential drone sighting.

"As a precautionary measure, Heathrow Airport has stopped departures and officers based at Heathrow are now investigating the reports with colleagues from Heathrow Airport", they said.

It added it first received the reports at about 5:05 p.m. Tuesday.

She said: "It is crucial that our plans maximise the benefits of expansion across the country, including for the communities closest to us".

'We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause'.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow's executive director for expansion, said the airport was committed to delivering the third runway scheme responsibly and urged local residents to have their say.

Fresh drone sightings have been reported at Heathrow Airport, with some flights suspended until further notice as an investigation is underway.

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London's second busiest airport, Gatwick, was severely disrupted when drones were sighted on three consecutive days in December, resulting in about 1,000 flights being canceled or diverting and affecting 140,000 passengers.

Speaking to the BBC, a Heathrow spokesperson said the airport's administration were working with the police to "prevent any threat to operational safety".

Arriving planes, however, continued to land at Heathrow.

Chris Grayling announced on Monday this week that he is seeking changes to the law which would allow officers to rapidly respond to and thwart drone attacks, including the ability to search premises of suspects and require users to produce documentation similar to a driver's licence.

Heathrow and Gatwick recently also spent millions of pounds on military-grade anti-drone equipment.

Flights resumed after about an hour, Heathrow said. The government will also extend drone exclusion zones around airports.

Past anti-drone measures included the creation of a competency test for pilots, and this is set to come into force from November of this year, as anyone owning a drone weighing more than 250g will be required to register it and prove they can handle it.

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