Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Heathrow stops departures after drone spotted

Heathrow stops departures after drone spotted

Helicopters can be seen hovering over the airport's departure runway with police officers also on the ground.

A spokesperson from the airport confirmed that a drone was sighted near or within the airport, prompting the precautionary suspension of departure flights.

A Heathrow spokesman said: "We are now responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with the Met Police to prevent any threat to operational safety".

Fresh drone sightings have been reported at Heathrow Airport, with some flights suspended until further notice as an investigation is underway.

In a separate consultation past year, most respondents rejected the idea of concentrating more planes over the same area and asked the airport to vary flight paths, which is likely to affect thousands more homes.

Departures from Heathrow have been suspended after a suspected drone sighting.

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The force said "officers based at Heathrow are now investigating the reports with colleagues from (the) airport".

Gatwick and Heathrow officials have pledge to invest in anti-drone technology, with United Kingdom transport secretary Chris Grayling saying to Parliament on Monday to extend drone exclusion zones near United Kingdom airports. "We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause".

It comes just weeks after drone sightings at Gatwick grounded planes for several days over the Christmas period.

BBC producer Kathy Long, speaking from a plane waiting to depart at Heathrow, said passengers had not been told officially what was behind the delay.

This crucial technology will detect drones from flying around sensitive sites, including airports and prisons, and develop a range of options to respond to drones, helping to prevent a repeat of incidents such as that recently experienced at Gatwick.

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

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