Three flights are diverted from Gatwick to Stansted after ‘drone spotted in the skies above’

Three flights have been diverted to Stansted Airport following reports of a possible drone sighting at Gatwick.

Two easyJet flights – one from Barcelona and one from Amsterdam – initially got sent to Stansted before taking off again to land at Gatwick.

A British Airways flight from Heraklion was also diverted.

All three passenger planes eventually landed at Gatwick more than 90 minutes after their scheduled arrival time.

A Stansted spokesman said he did not expect any further diversions on Sunday.

A Gatwick spokesman said the airport investigated a report of an ‘unconfirmed sighting of an object’ outside its no-fly zone. 

A plane passing a CCTV camera as it comes into land at Gatwick. Three flights were diverted to Stansted after a sighting of a possible drone device

A plane passing a CCTV camera as it comes into land at Gatwick. Three flights were diverted to Stansted after a sighting of a possible drone device

A plane passing a CCTV camera as it comes into land at Gatwick. Three flights were diverted to Stansted after a sighting of a possible drone device 

A number of drone sightings forced Gatwick to shut down for 33 hours in the week leading up to Christmas, disrupting 140,000 passengers' journeys

A number of drone sightings forced Gatwick to shut down for 33 hours in the week leading up to Christmas, disrupting 140,000 passengers' journeys

 A number of drone sightings forced Gatwick to shut down for 33 hours in the week leading up to Christmas, disrupting 140,000 passengers’ journeys

He said: ‘Gatwick investigated a report of an unconfirmed sighting of an object outside the airport’s 5km exclusion zone today but – following a full assessment – the airport has remained fully operational throughout.’ 

Chris Tuck was one of the passengers who was diverted to Stansted on a flight from Barcelona.

He wrote on Twitter: After a disastrous weekend in Barcelona with cabs and horrible hotel. We have now been diverted to Stansted airport because there is drone activity at Gatwick.’

Some passengers posted pictures on social media of water being passed around while they were stuck on board the plane at Stansted. 

One passenger wrote: ‘Apparently there’s another drone at Gatwick – my plane has been diverted to Stansted.’

Counter drone equipment deployed on a rooftop at Gatwick airport last December when repeated sightings caused chaos to Christmas flights

Counter drone equipment deployed on a rooftop at Gatwick airport last December when repeated sightings caused chaos to Christmas flights

Counter drone equipment deployed on a rooftop at Gatwick airport last December when repeated sightings caused chaos to Christmas flights 

Passengers were forced to wait with their luggage in the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport after flightswere halted last December due to repeated drone sightings

Passengers were forced to wait with their luggage in the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport after flightswere halted last December due to repeated drone sightings

Passengers were forced to wait with their luggage in the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport after flightswere halted last December due to repeated drone sightings 

Meanwhile there was some disruption for flyers travelling to and from the country’s busiest airport after a large fire interrupted train services nearby.

London Fire Brigade said ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters were called to the blaze at an old coal depot in Tavistock Road, West Drayton, three miles north of Heathrow.

A container, an industrial conveyor belt, 15 vans and three articulated lorries were alight, prompting train services in either direction serving the airport to be halted for a couple of hours. 

A number of drone sightings forced Britain’s second-busiest airport to shut down for 33 hours in the week leading up to Christmas, disrupting 140,000 passengers’ journeys.

The chaos continued despite a huge police operation and the army was eventually called to bring the incident under control.

Military anti-drone equipment, which can detect the flying machines and disable them by jamming radio signals, remained at the airport until March.

Gatwick and Heathrow are investing millions in their own systems to prevent future flight disruption.

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