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Flights resume after drone sighting halts departures out of London's Heathrow Airport

Last Updated Jan 8, 2019 at 11:48 am PDT

FILE PHOTO. (Courtesy Heathrow Airport via Facebook.)

LONDON, U.K. (NEWS 1130) – More than two weeks after operations were suspended at London Gatwick for reports of a drone sighting, a similar situation affected service through London’s Heathrow Airport.

Flights out of Heathrow have since resumed, however, departures were halted on Tuesday for about an hour as crews and police investigated the reported sighting at the airport.

“We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with Met Police to prevent any threat to operational safety,” a tweet by Heathrow Airport said. “As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate.”

Heathrow is Britain’s largest airport, and the world’s seventh busiest.

On December 21st, 2018, Gatwick Airport issued a similar tweet, saying it was “investigating reports of a drone sighting.” The incident created a domino effect and havoc all over Europe as the airport suspended airfield operations as a safety precaution.

The Gatwick closure led to more than 100,000 people being stranded or delayed — the worst-ever drone-related disruption at an international airport.

About an hour later, Gatwick resumed operations, saying “The military measures we have in place at the airport have provided us with reassurance necessary to re-open our airfield.”

On Wednesday, the Canadian government is expected to announce an update to drone regulations in this country.