Flights at Heathrow resume after drone sighting causes suspension

Gatwick airport was closed several times between 19 and 21 December because of a similar incident

Flights from Heathrow have been suspended after the sighting of drone
Flights from Heathrow have been suspended after the sighting of drone

Flights leaving Heathrow airport were temporarily suspended on Tuesday after a drone was spotted over the aerodrome, just weeks after a similar incident forced the closure of Gatwick airport.

All flights were suspended at roughly 6pm, with the all clear to reopen the airport being given about an hour later. Air Malta's flight from Heathrow on Tuesday night was delayed by over an hour as a result.

Speaking to the BBC, a Heathrow spokesperson said the airport’s administration were working with the police to “prevent any threat to operational safety”. The spokesperson added that departures had been stopped as a precautionary measure” while investigations were ongoing.

A Heathrow spokesman was later quoted saying: "We continue to work closely with the Met Police to respond to reports of drones at Heathrow.

"Based on standard operating procedures, working with Air Traffic Control and the Met Police, we have resumed departures following a short suspension.

Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, said the military had been prepared to deploy the equipment used at Gatwick last month “should it prove necessary".

Last month, flights to and from Gatwick airport were suspended several times over a three-day period because of similar sightings.

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