Flights from London’s Heathrow airport were Stopped for about an hour Tuesday Following a drone was Apprehended near Europe’s busiest air hub, Increasing fears that the chaos that Influenced rival Gatwick last month May be repeated on a Much larger scale.
“We’re responding to some drone sighting in Heathrow,” the airport stated. “As a preventative measure, we’ve stopped departures while we investigate. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause.”
London’s Metropolitan Police said they had received reports of a drone close to the airport about 1705 GMT on Tuesday, they had been investigating with airport authorities.
The airport affirmed about an hour after that take-offs had resumed. Flight tracker websites showed flights departing from 1811 GMT.
A Reuters witness at a plane on the runway at Heathrow stated multiple aircraft were awaiting permission to take off before being told what things were beginning to move.
Gatwick’s drone nightmare – that the most disruptive yet at a significant airport – exposed a new vulnerability which will be scrutinised by security forces, airlines and airport operators across the world.
The British army was made to deploy military technology to guard the area around Gatwick, reassuring the airport it was secure enough to fly.
Police said they had been carrying out extensive searches around the Heathrow area to spot any men and women who may be responsible for the operation of their drone.
“We’re deploying significant resources – both in terms of officers and equipment – to monitor the airspace around Heathrow and also to quickly detect and interrupt any prohibited drone activity; a number of which can be as a result of learning from the events at Gatwick,” police commander Stuart Cundy said in a statement.
He said military assistance has been implemented following the sighting but he would not give any additional details as it could undermine the efficacy of the measures.
British Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said he’d been in contact Heathrow Airport concerning the drone sighting.
“I have spoken to both the Home Secretary and Defence Secretary and the military are preparing to deploy the equipment used at Gatwick in Heathrow quickly should it prove necessary,” he said.
Both airports reacted to the Gatwick incident by ordering military-grade anti-drone technology.
Heathrow stated it was working closely with police including the authorities and appearing at applicable technology to combat the threat of drones.
The airport managed 78 million passengers in 2017 and is the principal hub for British Airways. Its busiest routes in terms of passenger numbers are to Dubai and New York-JFK.