Man and woman from Crawley arrested over Gatwick Airport drone chaos

AArmed police at Gatwick Airport following the drone incident (photo by Eddie Mitchell)
AArmed police at Gatwick Airport following the drone incident (photo by Eddie Mitchell)

Two people have been arrested by police investigating the drone chaos at Gatwick Airport.

More than a hundred thousand people were affected when the major airport was shut down for around 36 hours just days before Christmas after multiple sightings of drones above its airfield.

Gatwick Airport closed again due to another drone sighting

According to Sussex Police, officers made two arrests just after 10pm on Friday (December 21) as part of an investigation into the criminal use of drones.

A 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman, both from Crawley, were arrested in the town on suspicion of disrupting services of civil aviation aerodrome to endanger or likely to endanger safety of operations or persons.

They remained in custody at 11am on Saturday (December 22).

Superintendent James Collis said “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 10pm on Friday (December 21).

“Our investigations are still on-going, and our activities at the airport continue to build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions from drones, by deploying a range of tactics.

“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 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.

“Anyone with information about the incident or who may have suspicions about the drone operators is asked to report online or call 101 quoting Operation Trebor. If you see anyone acting suspiciously in the area of the airport, please dial 999 immediately.”

Gatwick Airport: The ongoing drone disruption live blog

This comes after the first sighting of a drone at about 9pm on Wednesday evening (December 19).

The airport’s runway was closed all day on Thursday, with hundreds of flights cancelled. It reopened at around 6am on Friday morning (December 21).

Then last night (Friday) another drone sighting caused the runway to be closed again temporarily that evening. Flights resumed at about 6pm.

A spokesperson for the airport said at 6.39pm on Friday, “Flights have now resumed at Gatwick following a reported drone in the area. While we investigated, airfield movements were suspended.

“This was a precautionary measure as safety remains our main priority. The military measures we have in place at the airport have provided us with reassurance necessary that it is safe to re-open our airfield.”

Anyone with information about the incident or who may have suspicions about the drone operators is asked to report online or call 101 quoting Operation Trebor.

If you see anyone acting suspiciously in the area of the airport, call 999 immediately.