5.00pm GMT17:00

Gatwick closed till 10pm on the earliest

Inside a matter of minutes, Eurocontrol has prolonged the earliest doable time for reopening by one other hour. It’s the third replace in an hour.

4.49pm GMT16:49

Gatwick closed till no less than 9pm

Eurocontrol’s newest replace has prolonged the earliest time at which the airport will open by one other hour.

4.44pm GMT16:44

Jessica Elgot

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, stated:

That is clearly a really severe ongoing incident wherein substantial drones have been used to carry in regards to the momentary closure of a significant worldwide airport. The individuals who had been concerned ought to face the utmost doable custodial sentence for the injury they’ve completed. The federal government is doing all the things it could actually to assist Sussex police.

4.31pm GMT16:31

Peter Walker

Downing Road has introduced {that a} “cross-Whitehall assembly of officers” has been happening from 3pm in regards to the Gatwick scenario. It has been held within the Cupboard Workplace briefings rooms, although it isn’t formally a gathering of Cobra, the civil contingencies committee which takes its acronym from these rooms.
Could’s spokesman stated:

The purpose of these conferences is to carry collectively the entire officers from all of the related departments in a single place so you’ve got an correct image of occasions and be sure that all accessible assets are being deployed. It is a severe incident, it’s inflicting widespread disruption for passengers. The intention, clearly, is that it ought to dropped at a detailed as quickly as doable.

Officers concerned got here from the Division for Transport, police and the Dwelling Workplace civil contingencies secretariat, amongst others, he stated. Could was being “often up to date” on the scenario.
On legislative responses to the scenario, the spokesman stated {that a} session into what additional steps may very well be taken to curb drone misuse had just lately closed, with a response due “very early within the new yr”. New legal guidelines might then observe.
Could’s spokesman stated he had nothing to say on the usage of the army.

Up to date
at 4.42pm GMT

4.26pm GMT16:26

The defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, advised Sky Information:

Sussex police have requested help and assist from the armed forces and we can be deploying the armed forces to offer them the assistance that they should cope with the scenario with the drones at Gatwick airport.
It goes to show how our armed forces are all the time there able to assist the civilian authorities.”

When requested what the armed forces’ position could be, Williamson stated:

That’s not one thing we will reveal. We’re there to help and do all the things we will.

A police helicopter flies over Gatwick airport as authorities seek for the drone operator. {Photograph}: Dan Kitwood/Getty Photographs

Up to date
at 4.43pm GMT

4.22pm GMT16:22

Gatwick to remain closed till no less than 8pm

Eurocontrol now says Gatwick gained’t open till 8pm on the earliest.

Up to date
at 4.43pm GMT

4.21pm GMT16:21

By the early afternoon, Gatwick’s espresso retailers had been starting to expire of meals, but remained filled with dozens of weary travellers. Teams clustered round energy factors, some laughing and joking in solidarity, others staring into glowing portals of escapism.
Messages on the airport’s PA system advised them exactly nothing: the uncertainty continued. Zak Morgan, 20, a pc science scholar at UCL, had been ready since 8.45pm on Wednesday for what ought to have been a 30-minute flight to Paris. He had made it onboard, solely to sit down there for hours earlier than getting off.
The journey was rescheduled by way of Barcelona, because of depart at 3pm – which might have prolonged it to 6 hours. However earlier than that might occur that flight was additionally cancelled. “Each hour they’ve been altering the flight occasions, so as an alternative of claiming go dwelling, they’ve been telling us to remain,” Morgan stated.

Damien Gayle
“Each hour they have been altering the flight occasions, so as an alternative of telling us to go dwelling they have been telling us to remain.” Zak Morgan, 20, a pc science scholar at UCL, has been ready at #Gatwick since 8.45pm for a 30-min flight to Paris pic.twitter.com/macjhpMMBQ

December 20, 2018

OzDemirkol, 26, was ready for a flight dwelling to Oslo for Christmas. She stated:

We arrived at 9.30am as a result of our preliminary flight was at 11.35am. That acquired cancelled and now now we have rebooked one other flight and we’re ready for that – however now the Eurocontrol are saying there are not any flights till 7pm.

Regardless of the lengthy wait and overcrowding Demirkol, like many different passengers, didn’t really feel indignant.

To be trustworthy there may be little or no to really feel indignant about. It’s not in anybody’s management, we’re simply ready for it to be solved. I don’t suppose that it’s time to be annoyed. I’m simply ready to see what occurs. It’s a safety challenge, it’s nothing about their skill to plan or organise, or handle demand or provide; it’s about one thing that’s out of everybody’s management. So it’s good that individuals aren’t being rash about it, as a result of individuals have been working actually all day across the airport.

Up to date
at 4.45pm GMT

4.08pm GMT16:08

Navy to be deployed at Gatwick

The defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, has simply advised reporters the armed forces can be deployed at Gatwick though he has declined to specify in what capability.

Lucy Fisher
BREAKING: Gavin Williamson has simply confirmed to me & different reporters: “We can be deploying the armed forces” at #Gatwick, who will use “distinctive army functionality” to assist in the drone disaster. Declines to offer any additional element about what army will or can do.

December 20, 2018

Up to date
at 4.43pm GMT

3.59pm GMT15:59

With each cloud comes a silver lining … though attempt telling that to these stranded at Gatwick.
Sally Pavey of Cagne – Communities In opposition to Gatwick Noise and Emissions – advised the Guardian’s transport correspondent, Gwyn Topham, that she had sympathy for stranded passengers and did “not condone individuals doing such irresponsible acts”. However she added:

The tranquillity was pleasant to take pleasure in. Not loads of concern is given to individuals struggling plane noise and it does push individuals to extremes. Folks jetting off on vacation ought to from time to time contemplate the influence they’re having on the individuals on the bottom.
Folks had been capable of sleep final evening as a result of there weren’t plane booming off over their head. Gatwick impacts individuals’s lives.

Planes grounded at Gatwick airport. {Photograph}: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Up to date
at 4.46pm GMT

3.43pm GMT15:43

Military may very well be known as in

The Ministry of Defence stated it’s in talks about sending army personnel to Gatwick to assist resolve the deadlock.
An MoD spokesperson stated:

There are ongoing discussions with the police about any army functionality that may very well be supplied to help with their operation.

3.34pm GMT15:34

Renata Alinta, 50, was sat on the ground ready together with her three sons, aged 9, eight and 6, within the south terminal, after arriving by way of a circuitous route from Northern Eire. They had been aiming to catch a flight to the Dominican Republic, the place they hoped to spend Christmas.
Her unique flight from Belfast to Gatwick had been cancelled, however after BA advised her that her flight to the Caribbean was nonetheless more likely to depart she had paid for one more flight to Stansted, then taken a cab to West Sussex within the hope she might nonetheless catch it. The detour had value her an additional £430. She stated:

We’ve been ready since 5am for data and we don’t know if it [the flight] goes to be cancelled. That is our first vacation to the Caribbean and everyone is upset … There are not any locations to sit down, so we’re simply stress-free. We will’t even get meals as a result of persons are sitting down in all of the cafes.

Regardless of the hardships, she stated she had had good assist and assist as she tried to hurry her three boys round on their journey. The 2 youthful boys had been rolling about on the ground in frustration, whereas the eldest, who was affected by a chilly, dozed together with his head in her lap.

Damien Gayle
“That is our first vacation to the Caribbean and everyone is upset.” Renata Alinta, 50, from Belfast, together with her three sons – aged 9, eight and 6. She spent an additional £430 taking a detour to Gatwick after @British_Airways stated her flight would nonetheless depart. pic.twitter.com/ZzVATF3t1y

December 20, 2018

Close by, Tyreese Joseph-Scott, 16, sat together with his youthful sibling ready for his household to return with meals. That they had a flight booked for a Christmas getaway to Montego Bay, Jamaica. He had been at Gatwick since 8.30am, and had no thought when he and his household would possibly get to board a aircraft.
“It’s a shambles,” he stated. Requested what he considered these working the drones that had disabled the airport, he stated: “They’re simply silly. They’re doing it on function, clearly.”

Up to date
at 4.48pm GMT

3.29pm GMT15:29

Kate Connolly

I’ve simply been chatting with Tom Chamberlain, the top of basic aviation and aerospace at Allianz International Company and Specialty, London (AGCS), which gives company and specialty insurance coverage. A pilot himself, he stated the entire of the business is watching what’s occurring at Gatwick with intense curiosity.
He stated anti-drone know-how equivalent to large internet weapons might take a drone down and there had even been experiments coaching hawks and eagles to take out drones. However there may be nonetheless loads of debate about what methodology or know-how is best.
Most drone operators are working inside the right rules and limits, he stated, and legal guidelines within the UK have been tightened specifically this yr, “so that you simply’re not allowed to fly above 400ft and also you’re not allowed to fly inside 1km of an airport boundary. However clearly there are nonetheless some people who find themselves blissfully unaware of those guidelines or are simply flaunting them as a result of they will.”
Whereas it’s doable to hijack another person’s drone, he stated it’s unlikely that that’s what has occurred within the present case.

Give that the know-how is comparatively low cost, for those who needed to make use of a drone for nefarious functions it’s going to be a lot simpler to purchase one off the shelf for a few grand. What the aim of what they’re doing there may be, is one other matter. It’s an odd place to be flying notably at the moment of evening so it appears slightly odd that they’d be doing that.

He welcomed the introduction from subsequent yr of the necessity for house owners to register their drones, although stated this had been the observe in Australia and Germany for a while.
The UK might additionally take a leaf out of Australia’s e book by having a “a central system the place you must submit the job you’re doing along with your drone to the central authorities earlier than you’re even allowed to do it”, though that will not apply to non-public operators, which these behind the Gatwick drones are more likely to be.
In Germany, he stated, there was a requirement for everybody to have insurance coverage “no matter whether or not you’re a industrial a leisure consumer”. He added:

We’re asking the authorities to take a look at whether or not everybody shouldn’t be insured in the event that they’re flying a drone. In any case, whether or not for enterprise or pleasure, the dangers stay the identical.

Lastly, he says it’s incidents like that at Gatwick that unfairly give the drone business a foul title.

Drones are saving lives as a part of lifeguard duties, the police are utilizing them to assist deal with crime, they’re getting used everywhere in the world to do deliveries, medical provides, and all of these things is underneath menace if the general public don’t belief them.

Up to date
at 4.50pm GMT