Economy

Departures suspended at Heathrow after drone sighting

Departures suspended at Heathrow after drone sighting”

Flights have resumed at Heathrow Airport after a brief suspension amid reports of a drone sighting.

"As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate".

A Heathrow spokeswoman said the airport was working with police to "prevent any threat to operational safety". "They've only given us one update to say it was because of drone activity in departures".

One wrote: "So, waiting to taxi on flight to DC, they've just shut the engines off due to a reported drone at Heathrow".

The airport is planning for an increase in its capacity of up to an extra 25,000 flights a year before the third runway opens, Heathrow said, as it outlined the latest phase of its expansion proposals. "We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause".

ITV reporter Sarah Rogers said her plane's pilot grounded her flight to Manchester while police "investigate possible drone activity".

Flights at Heathrow Airport have been grounded after fresh reports of a drone sighting, with passengers venting their frustration on social media.

Heathrow and Gatwick responded by ordering military-grade anti-drone defences worth "several million pounds".

More than 140,000 passengers at Gatwick were affected during 36 hours of chaos between 19 and 21 December.

Today, the British government announced a package of measures created to give police extra powers to combat drones.

Following the end to the initial drone-related disturbance at Gatwick, Security Minister Ben Wallace said: "I can say that we are able to now deploy detection systems throughout the United Kingdom to combat this threat".

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

Fines of up to £100 could be issued for offences such as failing to comply with a police officer when instructed to land a drone, or not showing their registration to operate a drone. Heathrow also confirmed it would be buying systems to guard against drones.



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