London Gatwick Airport remains closed on Thursday more than 24 hours after being shut down due to the presence of drones over its runway. Gatwick, the second busiest airport in the UK and handles more than 45 million passengers every year, was shut down around 9 p.m. Wednesday evening after a pair of drones were spotted.
Unfortunately for the affected passengers, flight activities are not likely to resume on Thursday.
In fact, an airport spokesperson told Business Insider that passengers are advised to stay home this evening and to check with the airline in the morning before traveling to the airport.
In its latest statement, Gatwick Airport said,
“All flights to and from Gatwick are suspended. If you are due to fly later today or are meeting someone from a flight, please do not travel to the airport without checking the status of your flight with your airline first.
Gatwick Airport’s runway remains unavailable because of continued drone sightings and some airlines have canceled all flights. There is significant disruption at Gatwick today as a result of what appears to be a deliberate attempt to disrupt flights, and we anticipate disruption to continue into tomorrow.
We are extremely disappointed that passengers are being affected by this especially at such an important time of year. We are working with our airlines to put plans in place to recover our operations once given the go-ahead to re-open our runway. We are prioritizing the welfare of those at the airport by deploying staff into our terminals to look after people as best we can.”
EasyJet, one of the airport’s largest tenants, has canceled all of its Gatwick flights on Thursday.
“We are making every effort to get people to their destination at this important time of the year, but following reports of drones flying over Gatwick Airport, the runway remains closed and all flights are currently suspended,” the airline said in a statement Thursday evening. “At this stage, there is no indication of when the airport might re-open and as a result, we have canceled all flights due to operate to or from London Gatwick today.”
The EasyJet also announced that they will reimburse any “reasonable expenses” incurred by passengers who make their own alternate travel arrangements.