Gatwick Airport shuts over drone fears

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However, the airfield only reopened for a mere 44 minutes before being closed again after a further sighting of the drones.

"Unfortunately, this incident has led to a number of flights being diverted to other airports and delays to flights departing from Gatwick".

Flights at Gatwick Airport were suspended amid reports of two drones being flown over the airfield.

The airport advised those heading to Gatwick to travel or collect relatives to check the status of their flight.

While most nations prohibit drones from flying in pathways reserved for airliners, the millions of small consumer devices that have been purchased around the world can't be tracked on radar, making it hard for the authorities to enforce the rules. It is thought more than 50 flights were affected.

According to the airport's Twitter account, as of the time of publication, the airport remained closed.

FILE PHOTO dated 16/1/2016 of Gatwick airport which remains closed this morning after drones were spotted over the airfield last night and this morning.

The air traffic control tower at Gatwick Airport is seen through fields in southern England, Britain, October 9, 2016.

Luton Airport worker Adam Webster, who said he was forced to work an extra five hours until 4am due to diverted flights, offered lifts home to affected peoples living nearby.

A spokeswoman added that airlines were working to provide hotel accommodation or transport for those whose flights were diverted.

One passenger confirmed she was finally being let off the plane about six and a half hours after landing.

He added: "Update. Got a free can of Coke and Pringles".