The airfield, the second in the UK after Heathrow, reopened the runway for a limited number of flights but warned that some delays and cancellations are expected to normalize operations tomorrow.
Gatwick is scheduled for 837 flights today but has canceled 155 of which 64 had planned to take off and 91 to land. The airline of cheap tickets Ryanair informed today that it has decided to transfer all its flights that were going to operate in Gatwick to the Londoner of Stansted to the north of the British capital.
All flights remained suspended yesterday and more than 100,000 passengers were affected after some drones were seen in the vicinity of the runway, without that so far the forces of order and the Army have located those responsible for operating these vehicles for control remote.
In the two terminals that Gatwick has – the south and the north – today they have seen long queues of passengers to dispatch their suitcases, after yesterday hundreds of people, some with small children, had to sleep on the floor or in the seats of the corridors.
The airport has recommended travelers to contact their airlines before going to the air terminal. The police, meanwhile, reported last night that drones were observed up to 50 times during a period of 24 hours from Wednesday night, when they had to suspend flights.
The transport minister, Chris Grayling, did not rule out today the possibility that the incident is an environmental protest. “This is not yet clear, we have not completed the investigations, the police are following several leads, there are several speculations, it could be an environmental protest but we honestly do not know,” Grayling said in a statement to the BBC.
The Minister of Transportation stressed that he or the authors of yesterday’s incident will have to “go to jail for a long time” and did not want to speculate on the possibility that the devices were operated by a foreign government.
“I do not want to speculate about that, sincerely we do not know who he is or what the reason is, I think it’s unlikely, but at this moment we do not rule out anything,” he said. In the United Kingdom, handling these vehicles near aerodromes is punishable by up to five years in prison.
The airport, located on the outskirts of London and through which more than 32 million people pass each year, was scheduled for 765 flights yesterday in full season of the Christmas holidays.
The Assistant Commissioner of Sussex Police (Southern England), Steve Barry, told the media today that there are “a number of lines” of an investigation into this “criminal behavior”, including the possibility that it is a protest ecologist.
Ecological groups have campaigned in recent years against the construction of a new runway at one of the airports in southeast England for environmental reasons.
The British government arranged last night the lifting of some nocturnal restrictions of flights in some British airports to minimize the consequences of the incident in Gatwick. The chaos forced the terminal to divert flights to other British airports yesterday, and even to cities such as Paris and Amsterdam.
The Sussex Police has admitted that this has been a “deliberate” incident to alter operational activity at the country’s second airport. The forces of order have qualified the work to locate those responsible as a “challenge”, “meticulous” and “difficult”.