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Two people arrested over ‘criminal use’ at airport



Two people have been arrested in connection with the “criminal use of drones” which caused major disruption at Gatwick Airport.

More than 100,000 Christmas travellers were affected when hundreds of flights were grounded from Wednesday night to early on Friday.

Flights were temporarily suspended again on Friday evening after another drone was spotted near the airfield.

Sussex Police said a man and woman were detained “in the Gatwick area” shortly after 10pm on Friday.

The arrests were part of “ongoing investigations into the criminal use of drones which has severely disrupted flights in and out of Gatwick Airport”, the force said.

Unverified footage appears to show drone flying over Gatwick


Sky News obtained unverified footage appearing to show one of the drones

“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,” Superintendent James Collis added.

“The arrests we have made are a result of our determination to keep the public safe from harm. Every line of enquiry will remain open to us until we are confident that we have mitigated further threats to the safety of passengers.”

He added that police are deploying tactics to “build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions from drones”.

Sarah Garghan-Watson and her family of nine were due to fly to Lanzarote from Gatwick. They ended up sleeping at the airport after their flight was cancelled due to the drone incident.


Cold and noisy: Sleeping under the stairs at Gatwick

A Gatwick Airport spokeswoman confirmed flights had resumed on Friday evening after being suspended for more than an hour when a drone was spotted at about 5.10pm.

Military measures in place meant it was safe to fly despite the “confirmed sighting”, the spokeswoman said.

Equipment deployed to stop further drone chaos is believed to be capable of jamming signals to the rogue devices as well as tracking them.

The airport faced a total shutdown on Thursday and part of Wednesday night when drones repeatedly violated its perimeter.

Some passengers described freezing conditions as they slept on benches or on the airport floor.

Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft offered a £10,000 reward for information that led to the arrest and charge of the drone operator.

Gatwick is Britain’s second busiest airport and serves more than 43 million passengers a year.

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