LONDON – Flights from London’s Heathrow airport were temporarily halted on Tuesday after the airport said there had been sightings of a drone near Europe’s busiest air hub.
“We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow,” the airport said. “As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate. We apologize to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause.”
The flights were halted at 5:05 pm GMT (12:05 pm ET), and resumed about an hour later.
WATCH: Video coverage of the drone sightings that forced Gatwick Airport to close
London’s second busiest airport, Gatwick, was severely disrupted when drones were sighted on three consecutive days in December, resulting in about 1,000 flights being canceled or diverting and affecting 140,000 passengers.
The army deployed unidentified military technology to guard the area, reassuring the airport that it was safe enough to fly.
Heathrow and Gatwick responded by ordering military-grade anti-drone defenses worth “several million pounds.”
Heathrow said earlier this month it was working closely with authorities including the police and looking at relevant technology to combat the threat of drones.
— Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Guy Faulconbridge