Military equipment used as Gatwick reopens after drone chaos

Military equipment is being used to stop further drone disruption at Gatwick Airport as Transport Secretary Chris Grayling insisted passengers are safe despite the operator not being caught.

The runway reopened for a limited number of flights at 6am on Friday after being shut down on Wednesday night due to drones flying inside its perimeter.

Police were engaged in a cat and mouse hunt for the perpetrator on Thursday, but said “each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears”.

Mr Grayling said there had been around 40 sightings of what were thought to be a “small number of drones” while the West Sussex airport was closed.

Chris Grayling
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling insisted passengers are safe (Victoria Jones/PA)

He would not give details of what measures had been put in place, but told BBC Breakfast some of them were “military capabilities”, adding: “There are a range of measures which are there today which should give passengers confidence that they are safe to fly.”

More than 120,000 passengers were unable to either take off or land at the airport on Wednesday night and Thursday.

A further 126,000 are due to travel on Friday, but 145 out of the scheduled 837 flights have already been cancelled as aircraft are out of position and the airport’s operations are restricted to just a few departures and arrivals per hour.

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