Heathrow Air­port briefly stops de­par­tures

Lon­don po­lice said that they re­ceived a re­port of a drone sight­ing around 5 p.m. lo­cal

StarMetro Vancouver - - CANADA & WORLD - Karla Adam

LON­DON — Flights de­part­ing from Bri­tain’s busiest air­port were briefly sus­pended on Tuesday evening fol­low­ing a re­port of a drone sight­ing.

Heathrow Air­port tweeted that it had stopped out­go­ing flights “as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure” and was “work­ing closely with the Met Po­lice to pre­vent any threat to oper­a­tional safety.”

Lon­don’s Metropoli­tan Po­lice said that they re­ceived a re­port of a drone sight­ing near Heathrow just af­ter 5 p.m lo­cal time.

By 7 p.m., Heathrow tweeted that de­par­tures had re­sumed.

On Tuesday, the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment an­nounced that po­lice would be given new pow­ers to land and search drones. The gov­ern­ment will also ex­tend drone ex­clu­sion zones around air­ports.

Those mea­sures came in re­sponse to ear­lier drone sight­ings that shut down Gatwick Pas­sen­gers col­lect lug­gage at Lon­don Heathrow Air­port on Dec. 19. Heathrow of­fi­cials say flight de­par­tures were sus­pended Tuesday as a pre­cau­tion.

air­port be­fore Christ­mas, caus­ing dis­rup­tion for more than 120,000 pas­sen­gers.

Po­lice haven’t charged any­one in re­la­tion to that in­ci­dent. A cou­ple were ar­rested, but they weren’t charged.

Trans­port sec­re­tary Chris Grayling told par­lia­ment that the Gatwick dis­rup­tion was “de­lib­er­ate, ir­re­spon­si­ble and

cal­cu­lated, as well as il­le­gal.”

A drone can se­ri­ously dam­age to an air­craft. When a drone hit a pas­sen­ger plane over Que­bec City last year, the plane landed safely, but of­fi­cials said a dif­fer­ent point of im­pact could have been dev­as­tat­ing.

More news at thes­tar.com/world

NIK­LAS HALLE’N/AFP/GETTY

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