London Heathrow airport: Drone spotted as flights grounded

Gatwick airport passengers

Flights have resumed at Heathrow Airport after a brief suspension amid reports of a drone sighting.

It added that "officers based at Heathrow are now investigating", along with colleagues from the airport.

A Heathrow Airport spokesperson said: 'We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with the Met Police to prevent any threat to operational safety. "We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience".

Nadim Baig said it was just his "luck" to have his flight grounded before it was due to take off.

Heathrow and Gatwick responded by ordering military-grade anti-drone defences worth "several million pounds".

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "We are in contact with Heathrow Airport concerning the drone sighting. Would seem that I should expect 2-3 days wait?" No arrivals, no departures due to Drone activity in the area'.

David Zuelke, who was inside a plane in the runway, wrote: "Sitting on plane on runway at Heathrow Airport".

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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.

The incident comes just one day after the Government announced that police and airports will be given new powers to shoot down, catch and jam drones in a bid to prevent a repeat of the chaos that plagued Gatwick over the Christmas period.

"We are committed to delivering expansion responsibly, and we encourage everyone to have their say and take part".

Grayling said the disruption at Gatwick between December 19 and 21 was "deliberate, irresponsible and calculated, as well as illegal".

A senior detective also said at one point it was possible drones hadn't flown over the airport, sowing confusion, but police later insisted the drone sightings were authentic.

The exclusion zone around airports is now one kilometre (half a mile) and this will be extended to five kilometres.

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