Gatwick Airport up and flying after pair held in drone case
LONDON — London’s Gatwick Airport was plagued by long lines and flight delays Saturday but no new drone sightings, allowing British officials to hope the worse was over after two people were arrested in connection with the drone invasion that had shut down the country’s second-busiest airport.
Check-in lines at Gatwick stretched the length of the departures hall as travelers tried to make good on Christmas plans upended by three days of extended shutdowns caused by drones being spotted over the airfield.
The drone crisis at Gatwick, 30 miles south of London, has had a ripple effect throughout the international air travel system since Wednesday night, when the first drone was spotted.
A Gatwick spokesman said Saturday that “things are going in the right direction” and should be back to normal by the end of the weekend after a horrendous few days that saw tens of thousands of travelers stranded or delayed.
Sussex police released few details about the two suspects arrested late Friday in the worst droneinflicted travel chaos to hit Britain. Police say the investigation is ongoing and the military was still deployed to prevent further drone incursions from shutting Gatwick’s airspace.
Police said Saturday the drone suspects are a 47year-old man and a 54year-old woman from Crawley, a town 5 miles from the airport. They were arrested on suspicion of disrupting civil aviation.
The suspects, who have not been named or charged, were being questioned in custody.