Flights resume at UK's Heathrow Airport after drone sightings, airport confirms

08 January, 2019, 23:52 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • Drones have GPS systems fitted which stop them from functioning when they exceed height restrictions

Departing flights were temporarily grounded there Tuesday after a report of a drone sighting. "We apologies to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause".

Frustrated passengers are taking to social media to express their frustration with the Heathrow drone chaos - with one suggesting "it was probably a plastic bag blowing in the wind".

A third wrote: "Grounded at #Heathrow whilst waiting to fly home to Manchester, first officer says flights suspended whilst police investigate possible #drone activity".

More than two weeks after operations were suspended at London Gatwick for reports of a drone sighting, a similar situation affected service through London's Heathrow Airport.

Arriving planes are continuing to land at Heathrow.

Transport Minster Chris Grayling said the military are "preparing to deploy equipment used at Gatwick should it prove necessary".

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Sussex Police Chief Giles York, who is working on the Gatwick investigation, told BBC radio in late December that police have searched 26 potential launch sites near the airport but do not believe they have found the drone that was seen near the runway on Dec. 19 and Dec. 20.

Flights appeared to be taking off again about half an hour after Heathrow issued the statement, according to the Flightradar24 website.

On Tuesday, the Government announced a package of measures created to give police extra powers to combat drones.

Ministers are now exploring the use of military grade jammers and blocking systems to bring down rogue drones, such as the Israeli Drone Dome system reported to have been deployed at Gatwick.

The exclusion zone around airports will be extended to approximately a five kilometre radius, with additional extensions from the end of runways.

From November 30 this year, operators of drones weighing between 250g and 20kg will also have to register and take an online pilot competency test.

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