Gatwick drone disruption: Airport boss speaks out

Police investigating
Police investigating

The boss of Gatwick Airport has spoken of his thanks for public understanding following the mass disruption caused by illegal drone sightings over the airport.

The airport was closed and flights cancelled - affecting thousands of people - when drones were reported invading Gatwick‘s airspace between December 19-21.

Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate in a statement today said that the airport had “taken a number of important steps in recent days which will make a significant difference to the airport’s resilience.”

He said: “Now we are through the recent disruption at the airport and services are fully back to normal I would once again like to express my thanks to passengers for their patience during this challenging period.

“I would also like to thank all those who have supported my teams in getting Gatwick back up and running, particularly our airlines, the police, the armed forces, other airports, the CAA and the Department for Transport.

“I know this unprecedented criminal activity caused huge inconvenience to thousands of people - many of whom missed important family events in the run up to Christmas. We have appreciated the understanding and tolerance shown at what was a really challenging time for everyone, and we are grateful that passengers recognised that we should never do anything that might jeopardise their safety.

“There are obviously wider strategic lessons for everyone involved to prevent it happening again, and Gatwick itself has taken a number of important steps in recent days which will make a significant difference to the airport’s resilience.”

Meanwhile, a £50,000 reward has been put up for information over the drone sightings. The reward is being offered through independent charity Crimestoppers, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for causing widespread disruption of flights.