Heathrow Airport suspends all flights due to 'drone sighting' - latest updates

Gatwick airport passengers

Flights scheduled to depart from the busiest airport in Britain were temporarily suspended Tuesday amid a reported drone sighting near the runways - less than three weeks after a similar incident in the area caused chaos during the Christmas travel period.

"As a precautionary measure, Heathrow Airport has stopped departures and officers based at Heathrow are now investigating the reports with colleagues from airport".

We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with the Metropolitan Police to prevent any threat to operational safety.

Following the end to the initial drone-related disturbance at Gatwick, Security Minister Ben Wallace said: "I can say that we are able to now deploy detection systems throughout the United Kingdom to combat this threat".

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ITV Granada journalist Sarah Rogers tweeted that her flight to Manchester had been grounded, adding that a police investigation was underway.

'We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause'.

Heathrow and Gatwick recently also spent millions of pounds on military-grade anti-drone equipment.

David Zuelke wrote: 'Sitting on plane on runway at Heathrow Airport.

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Departures at Heathrow Airport have been stopped after a drone was sighted. "Apparently we can't take off due to #drone sighting!"

BBC producer Kathy Long, speaking from a plane waiting to depart at Heathrow, confirmed passengers were told they won't be departing in the near future.

"At the moment, we've been told we're not going anywhere", she said.

Gatwick closed on the evening of December 19 and for much of the day on both December 20 and 21.

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Meanwhile, UK government introduced new police powers against drones flown near airports this week. This is to be combined with the ability to issue up to £100 fixed penalty notices on the spot to anyone seen operating a flying toy in a rogue-like fashion, and an extension of exclusion zones around runway ends at airports.

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