Two arrests in Gatwick Airport drone scare that delayed flights

Image: An airplane takes off at Gatwick Airport, after the airport reopened
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Toby Melville
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Authorities in London late Friday announced that two arrests have been made in their investigation of unauthorized drone flights at London's Gatwick Airport, Britain's second busiest.

The arrests were made shortly after 10 p.m. local time (5 p.m. ET), Sussex police said in a statement, connecting the collars to "criminal drone activity."

Police officers survey Gatwick Airport runways as flights resume on Dec. 21, 2018.
Police officers survey Gatwick Airport runways as flights resume on Dec. 21, 2018.Jack Taylor

"Proactive investigations are still on-going," police said. "We urge the public to contact us if they believe they have information that can aid us further."

Drones began buzzing the airport Thursday, leading to a 36-hour closure that affected more than 120,000 passengers during the height of holiday travel, officials said. A drone sighting Friday led to a second, brief shutdown of the airport.

"The military measures we have in place at the airport have provided us with reassurance necessary to re-open our airfield," airport officials tweeted.


Those measures include an Israeli-developed radar system that can track drones and jam their signals, England's Sky News reported.

Authorities were concerned the drones could disrupt airplane flight paths, disable jet engines or worse.

"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," Sussex police Superintendent James Collis said in a statement.

The identities of the suspects were not released.