Drone sighting halts flights at UK’s Heathrow Airport

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All flights departing Heathrow, the U.K.’s largest airport, have been suspended following a reported drone sighting.

An airport spokesperson told TechCrunch that staff are “working closely” with London’s Metropolitan Police, “to prevent any threat to operational safety.”

“As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate,” the spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We apologize to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The airport did not say who reported the drone, or to whom.

It’s the second reported drone sighting at a U.K. airport in as many months. Gatwick Airport south of London faced two days of disruption following a reported drone sighting just before Christmas. In the end, more than 1,000 flights were cancelled, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded.

U.K. police were given new powers to fight drones, including an expansion of exclusion zones around airports.

A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority, which regulates U.K. airspace, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More as it comes in…


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