All flights out of Heathrow airport are grounded as police investigate reports of a drone over the runway just weeks after the chaos at Gatwick
- Heathrow’s north runway has been grounded after reports of a drone sighting
- Passengers stuck inside plans have described vehicles on runway searching
- Gabriella Linning said her pilot warned passengers of ‘considerable delays’
Passengers face fresh chaos this evening after departures at Heathrow airport were halted following sightings of a drone.
Travellers are currently waiting on the runway unable to take off from the airport, which is the UK’s largest, serving more than 200,000 people every day.
Some passengers stuck inside planes have described vehicles out on the runway searching for the drone, while others have been told they can ask to disembark.
The Metropolitan police have confirmed that they are investigating reports of a drone sighting over the runway this evening, at the airport’s busiest time of day.
Pictured: web cam footage from Heathrow Airport earlier this evening
Flights have been grounded at Heathrow Airport (pictured) today after reports of a drone sighting
Planes are landing on the south runway, but the north runway has been grounded
Flights are currently landing on the south runway, but the north runway is grounded.
Student Gabriella Linning, who is on grounded flight BA 1338 to Newcastle, told MailOnline the pilot of her plane said passengers should let staff know if they wish to disembark.
Gabriella, 20, also said that her pilot warned there may be ‘considerable delays’ to the flight, telling her: ‘It does look like situation is not going to be resolved in the near future.’
She added: ‘The pilot told us that air traffic control is having an emergency meeting to decide if the runway is safe to use.’
Heathrow Airport confirmed on Twitter that they were investigating a possible drone sighting.
They 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 for any inconvenience this may cause.’
Passengers have been tweeting their frustration over the chaos.
Student Gabriella Linning, who is on grounded flight BA 1338 to Newcastle, told MailOnline the pilot of her plane said passengers should let staff know if they wish to disembark. Pictured: Heathrow terminal 5
Heathrow airport confirmed on Twitter they were investigating a drone sighting
Among those stranded on the runway is British actress Wallis Day, who tweeted: ‘Whoever’s flying the drone over Heathrow… can u not. We gotta get to Krypton but we’re being held on the runway.’
David Zuelke wrote: ‘Sitting on plane on runway at Heathrow Airport. Engines turned off. Airport is closed. No arrivals, no departures due to Drone activity in the area.’
The travel chaos comes just weeks after more than 1,000 flights and 140,000 passengers were affected in the run up to Christmas amid drone chaos at Gatwick.
Passengers were stuck on panes for several hours and were forced to sleep on floors inside the airport as flights were cancelled between December 19 and 21.
And the cost of the chaos caused by the drones is expected to have run into tens of million pounds.
The cat and mouse game with police started as drones were deliberately flown over officers and the Gatwick control tower while flashing on-board lights before heading for the runway when officials tried to reopen it.
The Army used a high-tech ‘drone dome’ defence system that features a tracking system and a ‘kill-jammer’ that cuts a drone’s communications and seizes its controls.
Marksmen were seen carrying shotguns at Gatwick – but officers said they could not shoot down the remote-controlled craft for fear of stray bullets.
A similar arsenal of weapons was used by British and US forces to help liberate Mosul in Iraq and neutralise ISIS drones.
Police, the Army and MI5 spies combed the countryside for days in order to find the culprit.