London Heathrow airport: Drone spotted as flights grounded

London Heathrow airport: Drone spotted as flights grounded

London Heathrow airport: Drone spotted as flights grounded

Departures from London's Heathrow Airport, the UK's busiest hub, were suspended today after a drone was sighted there, according to airport officials.

"As a precautionary measure, Heathrow Airport has stopped departures and officers based at Heathrow are now investigating the reports with colleagues from Heathrow Airport", she added.

It added it first received the reports at about 5:05 p.m. Tuesday.

'As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate.

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Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the military was "preparing to deploy the equipment used at Gatwick at Heathrow quickly should it prove necessary".

A Heathrow spokeswoman said the airport was working with police to "prevent any threat to operational safety".

Gatwick and Heathrow officials have pledge to invest in anti-drone technology, with United Kingdom transport secretary Chris Grayling saying to Parliament on Monday to extend drone exclusion zones near United Kingdom airports.

'We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause'.

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"Sitting on a plane at #Heathrow". About 1,000 flights were cancelled or diverted, affecting 140,000 passengers.

Following the end to the initial drone-related disturbance at Gatwick, Security Minister Ben Wallace said: "I can say that we are able to now deploy detection systems throughout the United Kingdom to combat this threat".

In the aftermath of the Gatwick incident it was announced that new measures would be brought into place regarding drone exclusion areas around airports, as well as competency tests for people owning drones over a certain size.

The exclusion zone around airports is now one kilometre (half a mile) and this will be extended to five kilometres.

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Police will also be allowed to fine users up to £100 (112 euros, $128) for failing to comply when instructed to land a drone, or not showing registration to operate a drone.

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