UPDATE: Gatwick Airport remains closed, drone pilot still at large

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After nearly 17 hours since a drone was first spotted at Gatwick Airport it has still not be disabled and flights remain grounded along with chaos at the UK’s second busiest gateway.

Speaking on the television news channels, Surrey Police said until the force can guarantee safety of passengers, the world’s busiest single runway airport will remain closed and it also is not ruling out terrorism.

Det Supt Juliet Parker of Sussex and Surrey Police has defended the police operation and she said on the BBC: “We’ve committed a lot of resources to this. Progress may seem like it is slow, but we are doing everything we can with Gatwick to resolve this with the safety of the public absolutely paramount.”

The airport’s latest media statement at 10.50h today said all flights are currently suspended following reports of drones flying over Gatwick’s airfield last night at 21.00h and this morning.

It added: “There is significant disruption at Gatwick today as a result of what appears to be a deliberate attempt to disrupt flights.
“We are extremely disappointed that passengers are being affected by this, especially at such an important time of year.

“We are prioritising the welfare of those at the airport by deploying staff into our terminals to look after people as best we can.

“We are working hard with our airlines to get information to passengers but would advise anyone booked onto flights from Gatwick, or meeting arriving passengers, not to travel to the airport without checking the status of the flight with their airline or on our website first.

“We apologise for the continued inconvenience, but the safety of all passengers and staff is our first priority.”

Flights meant to be landing at Gatwick have been diverted as all flights have been suspended and it has also caused disruption throughout Europe as other flights meant to be flying in are having to be re-routed to other airports.