Drone activity shuts down Gatwick airport

For story suggestions or custom animation requests, contact [email protected] Visit http://archive.nextanimationstudio.com to view News Direct's complete archive of 3D news animations.

RESTRICTIONS: Broadcast: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN Digital: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN
Tens of thousands of passengers have had their travel plans disrupted after one of London's busiest airports shut down due to drone activity on the runway.

According to the BBC, the runway at Gatwick Airport was closed after two drones were seen flying over a perimeter fence around 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

It reopened around 3 a.m. Thursday, before closing again after 45 minutes amid further sightings. Sussex police say there have been 50 reported sightings in 24 hours.

The New York Times reports that at least 800 flights were canceled, affecting over 100,000 passengers. Incoming flights were diverted to other airports, with some landing as far as Paris and Amsterdam.

Twenty police units searched the airfield perimeter on Thursday, but could not locate the drones' operators.

Sussex police had earlier ruled out shooting down the drones, citing concerns over stray bullets. But they are now considering it as a tactical option.

According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, the British army has also been called in to assist, and are deploying specialist equipment.

According to USA Today, authorities described the drones as "industrial specification." This indicates they are larger than hobby aircraft, and "could be more dangerous if they crash into a plane's windshield or get absorbed by its engines."

Officials have called the repeated drone incursions a "deliberate act", but say there's no indication to suggest that it is terror-related.

With the drone still at large, officials say Gatwick Airport could remain closed for all of Friday.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Runway closure after drones seen flying over Gatwick Airport perimeter fence
2. Passengers stranded in airport, canceled and diverted flights
3. Police searching for drone operator; possibility of shooting down drone
4. Industrial drone larger than hobby crafts, more dangerous if it hits plane windshield, engine

VOICEOVER (in English):

"According to the BBC, the runway at Gatwick Airport was closed after two drones were seen flying over a perimeter fence around 9 p.m. on Wednesday."

"It reopened around 3 a.m. Thursday, before closing again after 45 minutes amid further sightings. Sussex police say there have been 50 reported sightings in 24 hours."

"The New York Times reports that at least 800 flights were canceled, affecting over 100,000 passengers. Incoming flights were diverted to other airports, with some landing as far as Paris and Amsterdam."

"Twenty police units searched the airfield perimeter on Thursday, but could not locate the drones' operators."

"Sussex police had earlier ruled out shooting down the drones, citing concerns over stray bullets. But they are now considering it as a tactical option."

"According to USA Today, authorities described the drones as 'industrial specification.' This indicates they are larger than hobby aircraft, and 'could be more dangerous if they crash into a plane's windshield or get absorbed by its engines.'"


SOURCES:
New York Times, BBC, USA Today, The Independent
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/20/world/europe/gatwick-airport-drones.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-46640033
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-46623754
https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2018/12/20/londons-gatwick-airport-shutdown-drones-cause-flight-delays-chaos/2373311002/
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/gatwick-airport-live-updates-flight-delays-latest-drones-airlines-cancellations-christmas-travel-a8691976.html