22:15 GMT +319 March 2019
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    Drone Sighted at Heathrow Airport, All Flights Grounded Indefinitely - Reports

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    Fresh drone sightings have been reported at Heathrow Airport, with some flights suspended until further notice as an investigation is underway. The latest sightings come a month after a drone caused major travel disruptions in December for nearly 150,000 travellers.

    Flights have resumed at Heathrow Airport and passengers have been told that "things are starting to move", according to Reuters. The news arrives an hour after fresh drone sightings temporarily grounded all flights, causing passengers to vent their frustration on social media.

    "We've been sitting on the runway at Heathrow for like an hour and a half," one person said. "They've only given us one update to say it was because of drone activity in departures," adding that they have not been given an estimate to when they can depart.

    ITV Granada journalist Sarah Rogers tweeted that her flight to Manchester had been grounded and that a police investigation was underway.

    Heathrow staff are working with the Metropolitan Police and all flights have been grounded "as a precaution", an airport spokesperson said.

    UK transport minister Chris Grayling tweeted that military personnel and anti-drone technology would be deployed if necessary.

    The news comes weeks after drone sightings were reported between December 19 to 21 at Gatwick, the UK's second-busiest airport, amid holiday chaos just before Christmas. Drones were reportedly spotted at the airport 67 times and authorities detained and released two suspects following investigations.

    Gatwick and Heathrow officials have pledge to invest in anti-drone technology, with Mr. Grayling urging Parliament on Monday to extend drone exclusion zones near UK airports. Exclusion zones are currently one kilometre around airports and will be extended to five kilometres.

    Mr. Grayling called December disruptions at Gatwick "deliberate, irresponsible and calculated, as well as illegal".

    Police could also fine drone users up to £100 for failing to comply with authorities or present registration to operate a drone.

    Related:

    Gatwick, Heathrow Airports Order Military Anti-Drone Gear - Reports
    British Army Pulls Out of Gatwick But No Clues About Who Caused Drone Disruption
    Drone Expert Paints Grim Future After Gatwick Incident
    UK Needs to Improve Response to Drone Incidents After Gatwick Shutdown – Police
    Tags:
    grounded flights, flight delays, drone sighting, drone, Heathrow Airport, airport, travel, drone sighting, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Metropolitan Police, United Kingdom
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