Departure flights at Heathrow have been suspended after the airport said there have been sightings of a drone.
It follows the Christmas travel chaos caused by multiple drone sightings at Gatwick. The UK’s busiest airport said it is working with the police after the device was spotted.
We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with the Met Police to prevent any threat to operational safety. As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause.
— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) January 8, 2019
A statement from Heathrow Airport said: “We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with the Met Police to prevent any threat to operational safety.
“As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate.
“We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause.”
A spokeswoman from the Metropolitan Police said they were called at just after 5pm to “reports of a sighting of a drone in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport”.
“As a precautionary measure, Heathrow Airport has stopped departures and officers based at Heathrow are currently investigating the reports with colleagues from Heathrow Airport,” she added.
No departures at London Heathrow Airport amid reports of a drone sighting 😞 pic.twitter.com/vWYUNvgDLm
— Danny Lee (@JournoDannyAero) January 8, 2019
The alleged sighting came four days after both Heathrow and Gatwick airports reported they were investing millions of pounds in equipment to prevent future flight disruption.
Between December 19 and 21, Gatwick was repeatedly forced to close due to reported drone sightings, causing mass disruption to passengers, with about 1,000 flights affected.
The Army was brought in to help deal with the travel chaos and was not stood down until after Christmas.
The anti-drone equipment can detect and jam communications between a drone and its operator and was deployed on a roof at Gatwick.
The system, which is said to have a range of several miles, uses four radars to give 360-degree detection in order to identify and track targets.