Gatwick Airport chaos as rogue drone overhead forces delays and diversions

Gatwick Airport descended into chaos on Sunday afternoon after a drone was spotted dangerously flying through airspace.

Aviation experts made the call to divert flights coming in to land and ground all departures.

Due to the potential risks, the decision was made to shut every single runway and cancel departing flights from the London airport.

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Those scheduled to arrive were instead diverted to other locations, with reports emerging that an EasyJet flight was diverted 69 miles away to the nearest available airport Stansted.

Things initially seemed awry when the potential drone in question was spotted at approximately 1.45pm, prompting the need for immediate action.

After an hour had passed since alarm bells had first started ringing, the situation was deemed under control, with the airport opening back up as normal.

Following the incident, a spokesman for Gatwick Airport, addressed the situation, saying: "Passenger safety is the airport’s absolute priority and – following established procedures – operations at London Gatwick were suspended temporarily at 1.44 PM, while investigations into the sighting of a suspected drone close to the airfield took place.

"These investigations have now completed, and the airfield has reopened.

"Five inbound aircraft were diverted to other airports during the investigation, however, we expect these will return to London Gatwick shortly."

While people across the UK enjoy flying their drones, they are advised to do so respectfully.

It is currently illegal to operate an unmanned aerial vehicle within 5km of any airport in the country or above the safety height of 400 ft in the air.

Five years ago, Gatwick Airport had a far more serious problem to deal with, when several hundred flights were cancelled because of drone sightings taking place in far too close a vicinity to the runway. But while two individuals were arrested, neither were charged.

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