London’s Heathrow Airport Briefly Stops Departures After Drone Sighting

Jan 8, 2019

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London’s Heathrow airport (LHR) has had to halt departures for about 30 minutes Tuesday afternoon following the sighting of a drone. The disruption is occurring less than a month after London’s Gatwick airport was closed multiple times following the sighting of drones above the airfield. Hundreds of thousands of travellers were affected, with all flights cancelled for over 24 hours on December 21.

On an average day, there are 1,400 movements, or takeoffs and landings, from Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport.

A Heathrow spokeswoman told the BBC that the airport was working with police to “prevent any threat to operational safety”.

“As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate,” she said. “We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause.”

A screen grab from flight tracking site Flightradar24 taken after flights resumed shows planes with British Airways, American Airlines and Swiss departing from LHR.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Featured image of Heathrow by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

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