Another drone closes Gatwick, days after near-miss

Gatwick Airport expansion plans submitted
By Harry Kemble
15/05/2023
Home » Another drone closes Gatwick, days after near-miss

Gatwick has completed an investigation into the sighting of a drone on Sunday afternoon, which caused 12 aircraft to be diverted and others to be delayed.

British Airways, easyJet and TUI flights were among those diverted to Luton, Southend, Stansted and Bristol airports.

Flights were also grounded while the airfield was closed from 1.44pm to 2.35pm.

The closure comes days after an easyJet flight missed a drone by 16 feet after it took off from Gatwick heading to Basel, Switzerland, MailOnline reports.

According to the UK Airprox Board, the official body for assessing near misses, pilots initially thought the object was a bird before concluding it was a drone.

A warning was issued to other aircraft leaving Gatwick (pictured) after the pilots contacted air traffic controllers.

On Sunday (14 May), a Gatwick spokesperson said: “Operations at London Gatwick were suspended temporarily at 1.44pm, while investigations into the sighting of a suspected drone close to the airfield.

“These investigations have now completed, and the airfield reopened at 2.35pm.

“Twelve inbound aircraft were diverted to other airports during the investigation, how we expect many of these to return to Gatwick today.”

In December 2018, flights in and out of Gatwick were disrupted for more than three days in the build up to Christmas due to what was thought to be a drone.

More than 1,000 flights were cancelled affecting 140,000 passengers.

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