British police say two people were arrested early Saturday morning for alleged "criminal use of drones" in the case of Gatwick Airport, which has caused nightmarish holiday travel for tens of thousands of passengers.
The Sussex police did not release the age or sex of the two suspects arrested late Friday and did not state where the arrests were made. The two have not been charged.
Police Superintendent James Collis called on the public in the Gatwick area to remain vigilant.
"Our investigations are still ongoing, and our activities at the airport continue to build resilience to further mitigate the discovery and mitigation of intruders of drones by using a number of tactics," he said.
The new drone sightings on Friday had caused new problems for the travelers at the airport, which were reopened in the morning after a 36-hour shutdown to interrupt flights for more flights than one hour in the late afternoon at one of the busiest Travel days of the year.
The reopening, closure and reopening of the UK's second-largest airport due to repeated sightings by drones raises a range of questions for British officials, including questions about how safe it is to really fly around with drones and why it took so long to be arrested.
The flight suspension on Friday in Gatwick caused even more delays and cancellations as the holiday season peaked. The ongoing drone crisis in Gatwick, 45 kilometers south of London, has had an impact on the international air traffic system.
The recent drone sighting came after British police and transport officials announced additional measures Drones were to be prevented at the airport, which handles 43 million passengers a year.
Troops with special equipment were deployed and police units work around the clock. The police say a sophisticated drone operation aims to disrupt the airport to a maximum during the holiday rush.
The motive for the drone invasion was not clear, but the British police said there was no evidence that it was "terror".
Gatwick reopened at 6:00 am on Friday after being closed all day Wednesday evening and Thursday after authorities said drones had repeatedly injured the airport and threatened the safety of incoming and outgoing aircraft. Transport Minister Chris Grayling said it had been about 40 sightings of "a small number of drones" on Friday morning while the airport was closed. He told the BBC that the drone failure in Gatwick was "unprecedented in the world".
Grayling said additional "military capabilities" and a number of security measures were taken overnight, but would not continue to do so. He said the airport was considered safe for flights on Friday, even though the drone operator or operators had not been arrested.
The closure of Thursday increased the travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers, as approximately 1
After resuming operations on Friday, the airport had difficulty solving a massive passenger jam and flights were canceled, delayed or diverted. The number of passengers expected on Friday was even higher than the day before and around 145 of the 837 scheduled flights from Gatwick on Friday were canceled to overcome the rush.
After that, Gatwick's take-offs and landings had to be suspended again as a "precautionary measure." According to reports, a drone was discovered around 17:10, the airport said.
Aircraft circled around London or sat at Gatwick's gates, waiting to find out what would happen Friday night, before receiving a new "all-clear" over 70 minutes later.
"The military action we took at the airport gave us the necessary security to reopen our airfield," the airport tweeted shortly after the flights.
The Hundreds of Travelers Stuck in Gatwick Overnight The Thursday shutdown described frost conditions as they slept on benches or on the airport floor. Many complained that they were not informed about diverted flights.
Meanwhile, British officials were debating whether launching a drone was an available "tactical option" because it was feared that such an action might inadvertently injure people in the GDR Ground.
"The firing of the drone from the sky is probably one of the least effective options," said Deputy Chief Constable Steve Barry of the Sussex Police.
He said the police believe that there was more than one drone near Gatwick in the last two days and that it was possible that the drones were being operated on from afar.