Heathrow Airport says suspending departures after drone sighting

Lloyd Doyle
January 8, 2019

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", she added.

A spokesperson from the airport confirmed that a drone was sighted near or within the airport, prompting the precautionary suspension of departure flights.

It comes just weeks after the Gatwick Airport descended into chaos amid reported drone sightings before Christmas.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the military was "preparing to deploy the equipment used at Gatwick at Heathrow quickly should it prove necessary".

London's Heathrow, Europe's biggest airport, launched a public consultation on Tuesday ahead of the construction of a third runway, and gave details on how it plans to mitigate noise disruption for locals from thousands of extra flights.

One wrote: "So, waiting to taxi on flight to DC, they've just shut the engines off due to a reported drone at Heathrow". "We apologize to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause".

Passengers are taking to social media to report that they are stuck on the tarmac at Heathrow this evening because of the incident.

One tweeted: "We've been sitting on the runway at Heathrow for like an hour and a half".

Grayling said the government would also begin testing the use of counter-drone technology as part of its response to a consultation begun before December's disruption.

Airport exclusion zones will be extended to about 5km (three miles) from the current 1km, with additional extensions at runway ends.

Police could also fine drone users failing to comply with authorities or present registration to operate a drone up to £100.

Ministers announced that from 30 November operators of drones weighing between 250g and 20kg will be required to register and take an online drone pilot competency test.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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