RYANAIR cabin crew have called off their strike for tomorrow (Tuesday), but unless anything changes, will continue with plans to down tools on Thursday, January 10 and Sunday, January 13. A last-minute meeting held...
Madrid flights narrowly miss Heathrow drone shutdown
FLIGHTS have just resumed at London's Heathrow airport after a sudden shutdown at 18.00 local time (19.00 mainland Spain time) due to a drone sighting near the runways.
Mirroring the incident at London Gatwick between December 19 and 22, when 140,000 passengers were stranded after the presence of drones forced the cancellation of all flights leaving the terminal for three days, take-offs and landings were halted at the larger airport to the west of the UK capital for safety reasons.
At least five flights from Madrid, operated by Iberia, LAN Perú and British Airways – one or more of which is a connecting flight to or from a long-haul destination – were due to land at around 19.15 local time (20.15 mainland Spain time), and may have suffered slight delays as they would have been preparing to divert to other UK airports.
Another five Iberia, American Airways, British Airways and LAN flights were due to depart from Terminal 5 bound for Madrid at around the same time, but air travel update information from Heathrow seems to show that they were unaffected – all five were showing as 'closing' at 19.00 UK time.
Flights to Heathrow from other destinations were showing as 'landed' at around this time, suggesting disruptions have been minimal.
Spain's State-run airport governing body AENA, when questioned just after the shutdown was announced, said it was 'too early' to say whether any flights to or from Spanish territory would be affected.
British air travel authorities plan to set up 'drone shields' around airports after the Christmas Gatwick chaos, which ended just in time for the main holidays.
Thousands of Spaniards living in the UK feared they would not make it home to their families for Christmas, and similarly-affected British expats heading back from Spain to the UK suffered similar worries.
Two Britons living in West Sussex were arrested, but turned out to be innocent and have criticised UK authorities for using them as a 'scapegoat'.
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