Hopefully, the drone chaos at Gatwick Airport will now have come to an end with the arrest of two people in connection with the ‘criminal use of drones’ which affected at least 120,000 people on Wednesday and Thursday. According to the Sussex police, a man and a woman were apprehended by officers in the Gatwick area around 10 PM on Friday.
On Saturday morning, Gatwick Airport said that the runway was open but advised passengers to check with their airline before traveling.
The drone chaos at Gatwick airport started around 9 PM on Wednesday and it lasted until Friday evening. Travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers were disrupted.
According to the Irish Times, superintendent James Collis of Sussex Police said:
“As part of our ongoing investigations into the criminal use of drones which has severely disrupted flights in and out of Gatwick Airport, Sussex Police made two arrests just after 10 pm on 21 December.”
“Our investigations are still ongoing, and our activities at the airport continue to build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions from drones by deploying a range of tactics.”
“We continue to urge the public, passengers and the wider community around Gatwick to be vigilant and support us by contacting us immediately if they believe they have any information that can help us in bringing those responsible to justice.”
The runway was closed around 5:10 PM on Friday night after a drone was spotted again. However, the airport was reopened after about 90 minutes when the military said to operators that it was safe to reopen the runway.
Chief executive of the airport Stewart Wingate said the drone flights were “highly targeted” and have “been designed to close the airport and bring maximum disruption in the run-up to Christmas”.
He added: “These events obviously highlight a wider strategic challenge for aviation in this country which we need to address together with speed — the aviation industry, Government and all the other relevant authorities. It cannot be right that drones can close a vital part of our national infrastructure in this way. This is obviously a relatively new technology and we need to think through together the right solutions to make sure it cannot happen again.”