London Gatwick operations have been severely disrupted by the decision to close the airport as a result of drone activity.
NOTAM information for Gatwick states that the airport is “unavailable” owing to drones within the aerodrome traffic zone.
The airport was initially closed just after 21:00 on 19 December, after reports of two drones in the area, forcing inbound services operated by airlines including EasyJet, British Airways, Wizz Air, Thomas Cook Airlines, and TUI Airways to enter holding patterns.
London Gatwick’s operator says this initial closure lasted until around 03:00 on 20 December but that a second closure followed at 03:45 after further drone sightings.
The operator states that flights are “currently suspended” while it probes the situation in co-operation with law enforcement from the county of Sussex.
“We will update when we have suitable reassurance that it is appropriate to re-open the runway,” it adds.
Several services have been diverted to other airports while flights due to leave Gatwick have been unable to depart.
The airport operator has yet to detail the number of flights affected.
It has advised all passengers intending to fly from Gatwick on 20 December to check with their airline over the status of their flight.