Drones flying over Gatwick Airport have caused Christmas travel chaos for thousands. Among them is a couple hoping to honeymoon in New York and a little boy who wants to go to Lapland. Instead of celebrating her marriage in the festive fairytale of New York, newlywed Hope Lauren Eder is stranded at the airport. "We haven't heard anything from our airline, by text or anything, so we thought we'd head to the airport," she said. "There weren't any queues at the desk, so we managed to get through quickly."
A man and woman arrested in connection with drone sightings that grounded flights at Gatwick Airport have been released without charge. The 47-year-old man and 54-year-old woman, from Crawley, West Sussex, were arrested on Friday night on suspicion of "the criminal use of drones". Sussex Police said the pair were no longer suspects. A damaged drone found close to the airport on Saturday was being forensically examined, the force added. Det Ch Supt Jason Tingley said it was "a working assumption" the device could be connected to their investigation, but officers were keeping "an open mind".
A drone flying more than 20 times the allowed height came within 15m (50ft) of a Boeing 737 approaching a runway at Stansted Airport in Essex. The plane was flying at 10,000ft (3km) and coming in to land on 17 August when the captain spotted the drone. The first officer then saw "a dark-coloured square or rectangle-shaped object pass down the right side of the aircraft with minimal separation". The UK Airprox Board rated the risk of collision as the highest possible. After the incident, which happened at 16:36 BST, the plane was inspected on the ground and found no evidence of contact or damage.
The Army has deployed "specialist equipment" to Gatwick Airport as the travel chaos caused by drone activity shows no sign of abating. It comes as Easyjet has cancelled all of its flights from Gatwick for the rest of the day. The airline, the biggest operator at the airport, said there was "no indication" when Gatwick would reopen. Tens of thousands of passengers on several airlines have been disrupted by drones flying over the airport. In a tweet, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson had confirmed the military deployment.
"Military capability" deployed to counter illegal drone flights at Gatwick Airport has been withdrawn, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. The Army was deployed as hundreds of flights were cancelled on 20 December following repeated drone sightings. Gatwick said it had spent £5m to prevent future attacks, but would not comment on the nature of the system. Sussex Police said no arrests have been made since a couple were released without charge on 23 December. More than 140,000 passengers were affected by cancellations and delays during the 36 hours of chaos.