On Tuesday, a drone was reported over Heathrow Airport in London, resulting in a temporary suspension of air traffic. The flights however quickly resumed.
London’s Heathrow airport, the first in Europe in terms of passengers, announced on Tuesday that it had canceled its flights initially after reporting a drone.
“We are responding to a drone report at Heathrow and we are working closely with the London police to prevent any threat to operational safety.” As a precaution, we have suspended departures for investigation, “the airport said. his Twitter account.
We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with the Met Police to prevent any threat to operational safety. As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause.— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) January 8, 2019
This temporary disruption was quickly regularized. Heathrow flights resumed on Tuesday late afternoon after being suspended for about an hour, the spokeswoman said, without specifying the number of flights affected by the incident.
Incident similar to Gatwick
Three weeks earlier, Gatwick, the second busiest airport in the UK, located in South London, was forced to cancel or divert a thousand flights between 19 and 21 December, affecting 140,000 travelers. The army was called in as reinforcements to ensure the security of the site.
After this incident, the police were criticized for handling the case in Gatwick, after admitting as “a possibility” that there was never a drone near the airport. Suspected, a couple was arrested and released without charge. No arrest has taken place since.
The British government announced on Tuesday strengthened measures against drones, after being the target of criticism for not having taken seriously enough the potential risk posed by these devices. These gears will be prohibited in an area of five kilometers around airports, against 1 kilometer so far.
From November 30, the holders of drones weighing between 250 grams and 20 kilos will have to register and pass a test of skills to pilot drones. Police may impose fines of up to 100 pounds (112 euros) for example if a drone user refuses to land the aircraft or does not show proof of registration.
For their part, Heathrow and Gatwick airports said Friday invest several million pounds in anti-drone equipment.