Old Dec 20, 18, 5:24 am
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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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LGW closed due to drone activity

Old Dec 20, 18, 1:42 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by Pads
Also think it is ridiculous how long this is going on for. I've also previously seen talk about using nets to take them down. Cant post links yet but a quick google search has loads of options.
If it's coordinated, the problem the authorities have is that if they bring one or two down, others may be launched. They'll be concentrating on finding the operators and tracing launch sites. In that sense, leaving drones up is sensible to attempt to trace control signals or track them. There will be a lot more going on than we will be told.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:43 am
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I hope their mugshots and names make the national news so the whole country knows who these idiots are. Naming and shaming would reduce the risk of it happening again.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:45 am
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The batteries in these things don‘t last long, so if they‘ve been flying all night as mentioned in reports then somebody must be exchanging batteries somewhere. I cannot believe this can take so long. Worst case, get helicopters up to trap them or take them down. Perhaps they could also jam wireless and 4G frequencies in case that is the method of control.

Edit: I am on SVQ-LGW tomorrow with a connection from LHR on Saturday morning, so I have a deep personal interest in getting these idiots out of the way.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:45 am
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by Saint4805
I hope their mugshots and names make the national news so the whole country knows who these idiots are. Naming and shaming would reduce the risk of it happening again.
Saw this on twitter:
"Is it wrong to hope that whoever is flying drones over Gatwick, grounding thousands of people, is found by a mother of two who’s spent nine hours in an airport before the police arrive"
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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:47 am
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Originally Posted by Saint4805
I hope their mugshots and names make the national news so the whole country knows who these idiots are. Naming and shaming would reduce the risk of it happening again.
Throwing them in jail would be a better option & very heavy fines.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:52 am
  #51  
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Regarding shooting it down, this is from the BBC:

He said 20 police units were hunting for the drones' pilot, but police had not wanted to shoot the devises down because of the risk from stray bullets.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:55 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by Saint4805
I hope their mugshots and names make the national news so the whole country knows who these idiots are. Naming and shaming would reduce the risk of it happening again.
I suspect it would have the opposite effect. You underestimate the appeal of celebrity these days.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:58 am
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Originally Posted by windowontheAside
I suspect it would have the opposite effect. You underestimate the appeal of celebrity these days.
I was thinking similar - whether it is terrorist or activist, it brings publicity for their cause. Sadly the media outlets won't see it that way and will insist on splashing the perps' details all over the shop once they're known.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:58 am
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer
The batteries in these things don‘t last long, so if they‘ve been flying all night as mentioned in reports then somebody must be exchanging batteries somewhere. I cannot believe this can take so long. Worst case, get helicopters up to trap them or take them down. Perhaps they could also jam wireless and 4G frequencies in case that is the method of control.
So... there is surprisingly little info as to what sort of "drone" they mean.

Although the news media are showing stock images of "drones" as being small multi-rotor aircraft it covers a wide range of things from Hobby quad-copters (endurance maybe tens of minutes) to electric powered foam-built fixed wing (endurance a few hours) to liquid fuelled fixed-wing (endurance as long as you like but size scales with fuel).

Jamming control frequencies only really works if they are being externally controlled... jamming sat-nav (GNSS) signals may cause them to lose position lock and (depending on the programming) they may disappear down-wind but doesn't necessarily crash them. Shooting them with guns has the issue of "overs". Lasers (whether fitted to sharks or not) are still in sci-fi so it leaves you with electronic attack of the drone itself which requires a whole interesting level of capabilities generally available in the bucket market "military" and even then that capability may, or may not, exist in a form available and "safe" to use near a major airport in the UK.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:59 am
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Currently zero rated at LGW until 1100. That is the latest.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 2:04 am
  #56  
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Originally Posted by NWIFlyer
The situation has changed markedly in the last 20 minutes. Certainly nothing is moving, and all flights up to 10.05am are now showing ‘Next info at (scheduled departure time)’, which in many cases has passed.
And greetings from a Ł10 to enter NWI!

The current BA issued advice is not to react until you have received some notification but to check BA.com/arrdep before travelling. However if you can spot a valid alternative via LHR or LCY and there looks like there are seats, I would call the Contact Centre - if you can get through - and rebook, otherwise probably best not to call. I feel very sorry for those going on the Lapland Santa excursions today, they may well get pulled due to some idiot's / idiots' idea of amusement. But my take on this is that BA are going to operate flights just as soon as they can.

Key message

Drone sightings overnight at London Gatwick have resulted in the closure of the airport.
LGW Airport was closed late last night (Wed) due drone activity causing 4 BA flights to divert LGW was re-opened overnight but was closed again earlier this morning due to further drone sightings Please advise customers to check the on ba.com before departing for the airport

Update on today’s operation at London Gatwick today, 20Dec18
All flights due to depart LGW up to 0900 hrs are currently on hold
6 round trip Shorthaul flights scheduled to operate between 0900-1200 hrs are to be cancelled. 3 BA operated charter flights including 2 Santa Lapland charters to Rovaniem (RVN), Finland are currently on hold. Longhaul flights are subject to review. Two LH flights due to arrive at LGW have diverted. BDA-LGW to AMS and BGI-LGW to LHR.

A holding statement has been published on BA.com. Customer Guidelines have been issued
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Old Dec 20, 18, 2:04 am
  #57  
 
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One of our 747s came within 50ft and a 787 300ft of hitting one of these ....... devices over London during the summer. Having seen the AeroMexico incident and research on the effects to helicopters and the windscreens on commercial aircraft I would far rather not take a chance. The problem is one of closing speed. By the time you tend to see these things it is too late. Admittedly if they are lit up like a Christmas tree at night it could be a little easier but even still. I’d imagine this was a ‘plane stupid’ or other tree hugger stunt, but who knows right now. Sadly there is no licensing scheme mandated for having these stupid things.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 2:07 am
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Originally Posted by nancypants
He added: “The police advice is that it would be dangerous to shoot the drone down because of what may happen to the stray bullets.”
Well, if they're any good, there shouldn't be stray bullets Plus they didn't seem to care much about things straying when they put all these missiles on London rooftops for the 'lympics
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Last edited by Irreverent Medusa; Dec 20, 18 at 2:14 am
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Old Dec 20, 18, 2:08 am
  #59  
 
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Interesting how this can cause so much disruption especially at a busy time and of course there’s lots happening that we don’t know about and as aviation minister has said counter drone technologies are being reviewed Ed.

Sadly like the ‘copycat” terrorist van attacks just think of the disruption if something similar was carried out at Heathrow, Schipol or Charles De Gaulle.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 2:10 am
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This is clearly a coordinated effort so I'm surprised no group has yet taken responsibility. Getting their name in the headlines is generally their goal.

Either way, I wouldn't doubt that this could be a much more sophisticated attack than may initially appear. The controller could be literally anywhere in the world with an accomplice using either one or a series of repeaters in the area.

I'm also curious as what exact type of "drone" is involved here. Definitely sounds like it's a lot more significant that a regular child's toy.
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