London’s Gatwick Airport reopens after drone chaos

LONDON – London’s Gatwick Airport partially reopened Friday after drones caused a security alert that shutdown Britain’s second-busiest airport for more than 24 hours. But the chaos isn’t over yet.  

The airport said in a statement that “a limited number of aircraft” were scheduled for departure and arrival and that these would be “subject to delays and cancellations.”

Thousands of passengers have been stranded or delayed at the airport. Many slept on benches and floors and complained of cold and uncomfortable conditions in terminals. About 43 million passengers use Gatwick each year and 110,000 were scheduled to pass through Thursday, one of the busiest days of the holiday season.

The drones were first spotted flying over the airfield south of London on Wednesday.

Britain’s Transport Minister Chris Grayling ruled out that the drones were connected to a terror attack and police said there were indications the industrial-grade drones were flown by environmental activists trying to cause chaos for travelers and businesses.

Police said it was a “deliberate act to disrupt the airport.”

Authorities were concerned that the drones could collide with aircraft.

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