UK's Heathrow Airport suspends flights after drone sighting

Drones have GPS systems fitted which stop them from functioning when they exceed height restrictions

Drones have GPS systems fitted which stop them from functioning when they exceed height restrictions

As of 1pm Eastern US time, flights coming into Heathrow were in a holding pattern around the airport, based on data from the flight tracking site FlightRadar24.com.

Commander Stuart Cundy said the drone sighting was reported just after 17:00 GMT, with departing flights stopped as a precaution while initial inquiries were made.

The west London hub apologised for any disruption caused to passengers after flights were suspended for around an hour on Tuesday.

The rozzers are supposedly investigating the drone appearance, but there's no word on when flights will be back up and running.or should that be flying.

Police were called just after 5pm to "reports of a sighting of a drone in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport".

Several passengers stuck at the airport - including those on board aircraft - have also tweeted to confirm that they have been told about the drone sighting.

Gatwick Airport was closed last month after drone sightings, causing chaos for travellers.

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Whoever had their fun with a drone at Gatwick is about to hand loads more anti-drone powers to the police, as the Home Office has announced the results of a consultation into What To Do About Drones.

The British Transport Minister Chris Grayling said the military was preparing to deploy the equipment used at Gatwick for the Heathrow situation, should it prove necessary.

The extra flights would represent about 5 percent more than a current cap.

More than 140,000 passengers at Gatwick were affected during 36 hours of chaos between 19 and 21 December.

Heathrow said it was working closely with authorities including the police and looking at relevant technology to combat the threat of drones.

The exclusion zone around airports will be extended to approximately a 5km-radius (3.1 miles), with additional extensions from runway ends. The drone operator wasn't caught.

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