Passengers wait to check in at Gatwick Airport in England, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Gatwick flights operating after 2 arrested for using drone

The persistent drone crisis at Gatwick had a significant effect on the international air travel system

London’s Gatwick Airport is seeking to run a full schedule Saturday after police arrested a man and a woman in connection with the “criminal use of drones.”

In a statement, Britain’s second-biggest airport said it is operational but urged passengers, tens of thousands of whom have been stranded since the drone incursions began on Wednesday evening, to check the status of their flights.

“Passengers should expect some delays and cancellations as we continue to recover our operations following three days of disruption and are advised to check with their airline before travelling to the airport,” a Gatwick spokesman said.

“Safety is Gatwick’s top priority and we are grateful for passengers’ continued patience as we work to get them to their final destination in time for Christmas.”

New drone sightings Friday had caused fresh problems for holiday travellers at the airport, which reopened in the morning after a 36-hour shutdown only to hastily suspend flights for more than an hour in the late afternoon on one of the busiest travel days of the year. Officials said extra military capabilities allowed flights to resume after the halt.

READ MORE: New drone sighting shuts down London’s Gatwick, again

The hope is that the airport can make up much of the backlog and get passengers where they hope to be for Christmas now that Sussex police have arrested two suspects. Those arrested have not been named and have not been charged. Police did not say where the arrests that took place late Friday were made.

“Our investigations are still ongoing, and our activities at the airport continue to build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions from drones by deploying a range of tactics,” said Superintendent James Collis.

“We continue to urge the public, passengers and the wider community around Gatwick to be vigilant and support us by contacting us immediately if they believe they have any information that can help us in bringing those responsible to justice.”

The persistent drone crisis at Gatwick, located 30 miles (45 kilometres) south of London and which serves 43 million passengers a year, has had ripple effects throughout the international air travel system.

Gregory Katz, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: North Islanders bang pots and pans to honour essential workers

‘Hopefully we can keep it going for them because these people are showing up at work every day for us’

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Juvenile eagle

‘I was able to drive up close to it and get a few pictures without getting out of the truck’

Port Hardy Secondary School’s 2019-2020 wrestling season

Both Lamothe and Speck thanked Cleary for volunteering his time to sponsor the program.

First government licensed cannabis shop on Vancouver Island celebrates one year in business

‘I’m really happy we’re here giving the public what they want’

Fire Chefs give back to community with one free meal a day to those who are in need

Fire Chefs will offer one free meal from 3:30 until 4:30 on the days they are open to those in need.

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ entertains home-bound kids in Cowichan Bay

Alora Killam, 16, played the part in musical two years ago

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Most Read