London: 2 arrested in connection with Gatwick airport drone disruption

Gatwick airport. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 22, 2018, 07.28 AM (IST)

Two persons have been arrested in connection with the drone scare at London' Gatwick airport which caused major disruption for commuters; news agency AFP reported.

According to a media report, the arrested were made over the "criminal use of drones".

"As part of our ongoing investigations into the criminal use of drones which has severely disrupted flights in and out of Gatwick Airport, Sussex Police made two arrests just after 10:00 pm (2200 GMT) on December 21", AFP quoted the force's Superintendent James Collis as saying.

London's Gatwick Airport reopened on Friday after a mystery saboteur wrought 36 hours of travel chaos for more than 100,000 Christmas travellers by using drones to play cat-and-mouse with police snipers and the army.

The motivation of the drone operator, or operators, was unclear. Police said there was nothing to suggest the crippling of one of Europe's busiest airports was a terrorist attack.

After the biggest disruption at Gatwick, Britain's second busiest airport, since a volcanic ash cloud in 2010, Gatwick said around 700 planes were due to take off on Friday, although there would still be delays and cancellations.

The airport briefly closed again on Friday to investigate a new drone sighting but was soon operating as normal.

"Flights have resumed," a spokeswoman said. "The military measures we have in place at the airport have provided us with reassurance necessary to re-open our airfield."

Britain deployed unidentified military technology to guard the airport against what transport minister Chris Grayling said were thought to be several drones. "This kind of incident is unprecedented anywhere in the world," he said.

Gatwick's drone nightmare is thought to be the most disruptive yet at a major airport and indicates a new vulnerability that will be scrutinised by security forces and airport operators across the world.

The army and police snipers were called in to hunt down the drones, thought to be an industrial-style craft, which flew near the airport every time authorities tried to reopen it on Thursday.

(With inputs from news agencies)