THE Army has been called into help find the operator of a drone disrupting flights at Gatwick Airport, reports BBC radio.
“It is a particularly challenging situation we are seeing at Gatwick this afternoon,” Giles York, the Chief Constable of Sussex Police told reporters.
“My heart goes out to the families and others whose lives have been disrupted by some incredibly stupid behaviour by maybe an individual, or a couple of individuals. And we will find them – I’m absolutely certain we will have the links in order to find them,” York added.
Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport after Heathrow.
A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May has described those flying the drones as “irresponsible” and expressed her compassion for those prevented from traveling for a few days during Christmas.
A major police operation is continuing. “I’ve got over 20 units from Sussex, Surrey and the airport searching for the drone operator trying to locate him,” Superintendent Justin Burtonshaw told reporters.
“This has been going on for 10 hours now – each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears, then when we look to reopen the airfield the drone reappears.”
As of Thursday at 16:00 CET, the airport, near London, remains in chaos after several drones were seen flying over the runways, resulting in the total suspension of traffic.
“I’m absolutely convinced this is a deliberate act to disrupt Gatwick airport,” Burtonshaw added.
Earlier, a BBC reporter has been giving his impressions of conditions inside the South Terminal Gatwick Airport, as the facility remains closed due to an unauthorised drone flying in local airspace.
“To describe it as pandemonium is something of an understatement,” the BBC’s Paul Clifton told Radio Five. “There are thousands and thousands of people packed in there.”
Clifton said the queue for a cup of coffee ‘is probably a couple of hours,’ whilst the queue to the information desk stretches all the way around the terminal and back again.”