Drone
Drone

Two people have been arrested in connection with the “criminal use of drones” at London’s Gatwick Airport, police said on Saturday, after three days of disruption affected tens of thousands of passengers during the pre-Christmas getaway.

Drones were first sighted buzzing around Britain’s second-busiest air hub on Wednesday, forcing the runway to close and causing chaos for more than 140,000 people.

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“As part of our ongoing investigations into the criminal use of drones which has severely disrupted flights in and out of Gatwick Airport, Sussex Police made two arrests just after 10:00pm (2200 GMT) on December 21,” the force’s Superintendent James Collis said.

“Every line of enquiry will remain open to us until we are confident that we have mitigated further threats to the safety of passengers.”

A Gatwick spokesman said the airport planned to run a full schedule of 757 flights carrying 124,484 passengers on Saturday.

But he warned that passengers should expect some delays and cancellations “as we continue to recover our operations following three days of disruption”.

Police urged passengers and the public to remain vigilant around the airport, south of London, and report any further drone sightings.

Flights resumed on Friday but were briefly halted after a new drone sighting forced planes to be grounded as a precautionary measure.

Sussex Police said officers had been using “a range of tactics” to hunt for the mystery drone operators and “build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions”.

The dangers posed by drones include the possibility of a device smashing into a passenger plane or being sucked up into an engine where its highly flammable lithium battery could cause a catastrophe.