Tempers flare as Gatwick-bound passengers diverted to Stansted

Gatwick Airport was closed on Wednesday night, causing a series of flight delays and diversions, following reports that two drones were seen nearby.

The runway was reopened at around 3am on Thursday, December 20, but it was closed again around 45 minutes later due to further sightings of drones in the vicinity.

Outbound flights were grounded and incoming planes redirected – with some landing in Paris and Amsterdam – while passengers were forced to wait for hours in the terminal and on board airplanes.

This video shows frustrated passengers waiting on board an airplane at London Stansted Airport after their Gatwick-bound flight was diverted.

Police were called in after some passengers were reported to be abusing the plane's crew.

The flying of drones is "a deliberate act to disrupt the airport", police said.

Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw of Sussex Police said: "We believe this to be a deliberate act to disrupt the airport. However, there are absolutely no indications to suggest this is terror related."

Some 10,000 passengers were affected on Wednesday night, and a further 110,000 were due to either take off or land at the airport on 760 flights on Thursday.

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