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All flights to/from London Gatwick cancelled because of drones!

Tens of thousands of passengers have been disrupted by drones flying over one of the UK’s busiest airports. Gatwick’s runway has been shut since Wednesday night, as devices have been repeatedly flying over the airfield.

Sussex Police said it was not terror-related but a “deliberate act” of disruption, using “industrial specification” drones.

About 110,000 passengers on 760 flights were due to fly on Thursday. Disruption could last “several days”.

An airline source told the BBC flights were currently cancelled until at least 19:00 GMT.

The airport advised that the runway would not open “until it was safe to do so”.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed the Army has been called in to support Sussex Police.

He said: “The armed forces have a range of unique capabilities and this isn’t something we would usually deploy but we are there to assist and do everything we can so that they are in a position to open the airport at the earliest opportunity.”

Those due to travel have been told to check the status of their flight, while Easyjet told its passengers not to go to Gatwick if their flights have been cancelled.

The shutdown started just after 21:00 on Wednesday, when two drones were spotted flying “over the perimeter fence and into where the runway operates from”.

The runway briefly reopened at 03:01 on Thursday but was closed again about 45 minutes later amid “a further sighting of drones”.

The airport said at about 12:00 a drone had been spotted “in the last hour”.

A Gatwick spokeswoman said extra staff had been brought in and the airport was “trying their best” to provide food and water to those who needed it.

About 11,000 people are stuck at the airport, Mr Woodroofe said.

A number of flights bound for Gatwick were diverted to other airports overnight, including seven to Luton, 11 to Stansted and five to Manchester. Other flights have landed at Cardiff, Birmingham and Southend.