Gatwick Airport flight chaos as pothole closes main runway

Flights delayed and diverted while repairs were carried out

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Passenger travelling to and from Gatwick Airport faced misery over the weekend when a pothole emerged in the main runway and forced the airport to close for one hour on Sunday afternoon.

All flights were stopped while repairs to the tarmac were carried out.

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According to the BBC, the damage was discovered during a routine inspection.

A total of 17 flights were diverted to other airports and operations were switched to the northern runway to keep flights departing and arriving.

Crawley News reports that dozens of flights were cancelled and stranded passengers slammed the lack of communication.

Jo Gilbert, who was supposed to travel to Barcelona, said she was effectively "held hostage" in the North Terminal when her flight was cancelled.

"My flight to Barcelona was cancelled at 4.50pm and we've been here in the terminal since," she said. "They're not letting anyone out.

"Everyone is losing their cool."

A Gatwick Airport spokeswoman said: "Our main runway was temporarily closed at 3.48pm while we investigated a reported issue.

"We have now switched our operation to the Northern Runway and flights are departing and arriving from Gatwick.

"There will, however, be some delays to flights because of this.

"The safety and security of our airport and passengers is our number one priority, but we'd like to apologise to passengers impacted today."

It is believed the damage was caused by rain storms which followed the recent heatwave.

Alexandra Rucki, 27, told the Evening Standard that her flight from Crete was diverted to Stansted.

She said: "An announcement said we would have to do a second attempt to land and we couldn't land right now.

"We were all wondering what was going on and another announcement said we couldn't land because there was a hole in the runway.

"They said we haven't got enough fuel to circle so we have to divert to Stansted. So now we're sat on the tarmac at Stansted waiting to be told what is going on."

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