LGW closed due to drone activity

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Travelling to of from London Gatwick 21 December 2018
All LGW services operated on Friday with 2 exceptions (BA2758/0 to AMS and back; BA2938/9 EDI and back). Many flights were heavily delayed.
List of inbound BA diversions from latest closure is in post 463
Incomplete list of inbound cancellations for Friday 21 December is here in post 298.

Current customer guidelines in this post 344 (you can rebook free of charge to 5 January and reroute via LHR/LCY). Try rebooking via the App if you can, otherwise you need to telephone BA.

Background
Gatwick Airport was closed at 21:03 on Wednesday 19 December following reports of drones flying over the airfield. Sightings have continued throughout Thursday 20 December requiring the airport to remain closed. Gatwick Airport advising all passengers to check the status of their flights before travelling to the airport. Gatwick airport was further closed on Friday 21 December from 17:00 until 18:25 at which time normal operations resumed after suspected drone sightings.

Previous updates
Current list of cancelled and diverted services
Post 96 and Post 132 and Post 184
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Old Dec 20, 18, 3:11 pm
  #376  
 
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I went to bed last night fully expecting this to be sorted by the time I woke up. But nothing

just to confirm (as I’m reliant on overseas news), no claims of responsibility yet?
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Old Dec 20, 18, 3:17 pm
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Surely there is more to this than meets the eye? It can’t be as simple as someone hiding in a hedge buzzing drones about over the airfield.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Some person View Post
Don't forget about the two phone calls.
Pretty much a relic from times when we still had to pay roaming fees and calls back home were £££.

Originally Posted by Sealink View Post
Pretty sure most people think of the £££ rather than the refreshment voucher.
Hotel. Having a decent place to sleep reduces at least some of the inconvenience. The worst delays are those where salami tactics are used: "We'll depart in 30 minutes" "We'll depart in 30 minutes" "Another 30 minutes" and before you know your 10 pm flight departs at 5 am and you didn't get a minute of sleep.

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From the Guardian live stream
  • Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley added there have been over 50 sightings of a drone near Gatwick Airport.
  • Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick’s chief operating officer, added that contingency plans were being considered including to cancel flights tomorrow.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 3:19 pm
  #379  
 
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Originally Posted by Greenpen View Post
Is there some mass hysteria occurring here?

The drone comes and goes with no one seemingly being able to connect with it.
It all seems a bit fishy to me. As if a cover story for what's really going on.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by clarkeysntfc View Post
Surely there is more to this than meets the eye? It can’t be as simple as someone hiding in a hedge buzzing drones about over the airfield.
The following is speculation on my part, but I think it could well be a variant on the above.

My understanding is that some of these larger commercial drones have a usable range of up to 10km or more. That’s quite a large area, and Gatwick is surrounded by a lot of countryside. I don’t think it would be beyond the bounds of possibility for it to be concealed within the boot of a car, or a small van, quite easily.

I’ve never used a drone myself but I am sure you could pre-program rendezvous or way-points, so you could hit a button and the drone would autonomously head to a pre-specified point, even if the operator themselves were busy driving or doing something else in the interim.

Especially if more than one person is involved (and the time this has taken to play out suggests it could be), all they’d need to do is keep moving to hidden drop off/pick up points and pop up the drone now and again. The drones themselves haven’t been operating constantly - its the uncertainty and unpredictability of when/where they’ll appear next that is so disruptive.

One final point - some of the speculation and conspiracy theories on Twitter and elsewhere are deeply unhelpful.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 3:30 pm
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Seen a picture on Twitter of a Thule roofbox on the top of a lampost type pole on top of a van. Presume it's dusguising some kind of electronic equipment. Pretty comical.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 3:49 pm
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If you are from USA/Canada , want to be home for Christmas: there are still seats on the Paris-New York and Amsterdam-New York flights with Norwegian. Eurostar gets you to Paris and if you choose Amsterdam then you can transfer at Bruxelles or Rotterdam to the Thalys or the ICE which stop at the Amsterdam airport. https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml for train planning. Eurostar tickets available but expensive. Good luck.


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Old Dec 20, 18, 3:56 pm
  #383  
 
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Friends have a booking for Monday 24/12 LGW - AGP (Malaga), unsure what to advise at this stage.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 4:01 pm
  #384  
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On flightradar24 there is an EZY A320 going to the runway. Could this be the start of flights?
EDIT-Plane has exited the runway.

Last edited by tedcruz; Dec 20, 18 at 4:07 pm
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Old Dec 20, 18, 4:04 pm
  #385  
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Originally Posted by Mks6 View Post
Are you stranded? Friday 21st

Given the issues today and the potential disruption faced by many travellers tomorrow, I'd like to offer help to those who cannot leave Gatwick tomorrow and have no other options.

I live in Windsor, so while not immediately local, it is within taxi distance and gives you a very local option to LHR for rebooking.

I can accommodate from Friday evening until Sunday 6pm. I will then myself be departing from LHR.

I also have a car so please let me know if you (or someone you know) needs help.

It's Christmas after all.
Wonderful offer
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Old Dec 20, 18, 4:07 pm
  #386  
 
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G-YMMC is heading out of LHR as BA9151 right now. I wonder where she’s heading? Maybe a relief flight for displaced passengers?
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Old Dec 20, 18, 4:07 pm
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departures happening now, although some just to LTN
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Old Dec 20, 18, 4:07 pm
  #388  
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Originally Posted by tedcruz View Post
On flightradar24 there is an EZY A320 going to the runway. Could this be the start of flights?
Looks like a test lure...
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Old Dec 20, 18, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by tedcruz View Post
On flightradar24 there is an EZY A320 going to the runway. Could this be the start of flights?
It says going to LTN, but it might be testing what the drone operators will do with moving aircraft?

The aircraft is unlikely to carry passengers, but I doubt that they will be taking off at all.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 4:09 pm
  #390  
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Originally Posted by clarkeysntfc View Post
G-YMMC is heading out of LHR as BA9151 right now. I wonder where she’s heading? Maybe a relief flight for displaced passengers?
Off to CPT. BA must've told passengers travelling to CPT, BDA and MRU to come to LHR as those flights left from LHR.
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