Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Drone causes delays at London Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow Airport has restarted normal operations after a low flying drone caused departures at the worlds busiest two-runway airport to be suspended for more than an hour this evening. The drone was allegedly spotted flying low near the airport's northern runway, which had been allocated for departures earlier in the day, shortly after 1700.

The drone was said to have been spotted around 1705 on Tuesday evening, causing a halt to operations using the northern runway. The airport has continued to accept arriving aircraft on its southern runway. London's Metropolitan Police say they are aware of the situation and officers based at Heathrow are currently investigating the reports along with other colleagues.  

Chris Grayling, the UK's Transport Minister was made aware of the situation and said that he had been in touch with the airport and "I have already spoken to both the Home Secretary and Defence Secretary and the military are preparing to deploy the equipment used at Gatwick at Heathrow quickly should it prove necessary.”

The sighting at Heathrow follows on from a series of drone sitings at Gatwick, which caused major disruption for over 72 hours just before Christmas.  Heathrow is the UK's busiest airport and operates at a near 100% capacity and some 40 flights were delayed during the hour of no departures. The airport is said it was working hard with air traffic control to get back on schedule and departures had resumed.