Imagine being stuck at the airport because a drone was flying around it, making it dangerous for planes to land or take off. That is exactly what happened at London’s Gatwick Airport over the past three days, according to The Daily Signal.
Gatwick’s chief executive officer Stewart Wingate says the drone flights are “highly targeted” and have “been designed to close the airport and bring maximum disruption in the run up to Christmas”.
On Wednesday night, reports of a drone being flown around the airport caused flights to be canceled and incoming flights were diverted. Early the next morning, a drone was once again spotted, bringing the airport to a standstill all day Thursday as the drone kept being sighted.
Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley, of Sussex Police, says there have been more than 50 sightings of the device in the past 24 hours. He reveals that shooting down the drone is a “tactical option” being considered by police.
Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald claimed the government missed chances to prevent the incident, the BBC reported.
“The government was repeatedly warned about the risks posed by drones to aviation but failed to act. The delay in bringing forward legislation is indicative of this government’s failure to concentrate on the day-to-day business in front of them. They have taken their eye off the ball. The scale of disruption is unacceptable and it demands that we find out how this was allowed to happen, which is why Labour are calling for an independent inquiry,” Mr. McDonald said.
Crowds of passengers have been waiting inside Gatwick’s terminal for updates, with many complaining of “freezing” temperatures in the south terminal.
Some people even stayed in the airport overnight, sleeping on the floor while they waited for information. Dozens of passengers say they’ve now abandoned their festive travel plans.