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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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Drone causes flight disruption at Gatwick Airport

Five flights were diverted from the airport – including one BA plane, which was sent to Bournemouth.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

POLICE IN SUSSEX are investigating after a drone led to the closure of a runway and forced the diversion of a number of flights at London’s Gatwick Airport yesterday.

“Due to reports of a drone observation in the vicinity of the airfield, runway operations at Gatwick were suspended between 18:10 BST and 18:19, and again from 18:36 to 18:41, resulting in a small number of go-arounds and diverts,” according to an airport statement.

Operations have resumed and the police continue to investigate.

The BBC reports that four Easyjet flights and one British Airways flight were diverted. The BA plane was sent to Bournemouth.

Close-flying drones have presented a growing problem in recent years – including one incident in Edinburgh last November in which a drone came within 75 feet of a plane.

Earlier this year, Dublin Airport launched an awareness campaign aimed at drone users.

Signs were mounted around the airport’s perimeter to warn that Dublin Airport is a “no drone zone”, and telling people that to use one in the vicinity is illegal.

The IAA’s director of safety regulation Ralph James said: “There have been a couple of incidents of people using drones close to Dublin Airport, which have disrupted operations and drone users need to be aware of the rules for the safe operation of drones.”

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