Greater London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is investigating the report of a drone sighting at Heathrow Airport.
Officers are appealing to the public for any information that may assist them to trace the owner and operator of the alleged drone, which was witnessed flying over Heathrow Airport just after 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the police says. Of course, this incident follows similar sightings reported last month at Gatwick Airport.
As part of established plans to deal with such an incident, officers were quickly deployed across Heathrow, says the MPS. Departures were stopped as a precautionary measure while initial inquiries were made. Once it was safe to do so, they were resumed just after 6:00 p.m., and the airport was then fully operational.
According to the police, significant resources, both in terms of officers and equipment, were deployed to monitor the airspace around Heathrow. Military assistance is also being provided to support the MPS.
The MPS is continuing to work closely with colleagues from Heathrow as the investigation continues.
“Our priority is keeping the airspace over London’s airports safe for the thousands of planes flying in and out every week,” says Commander Stuart Cundy. “Any deliberate acts to endanger the airfield and aircraft are serious offenses that can carry lengthy prison sentences. If flown into the path of an aircraft, a drone has the potential to cause great harm to those on board. Anyone caught illegally operating drones will be dealt with robustly.”
Cundy continues, “We understand the extensive frustration and inconvenience that suspending flights causes the public. Anyone with information about the incident or who may have suspicions in relation to illegal drone in the area of are asked to report online or call 101. If you see anyone acting suspiciously in the area of the airport, or you believe you have sighted a drone or model aircraft in the area of an airport, then please dial 999 immediately.”
The MPS notes it cannot discuss specific operational tactics in relation to dealing with illegal drone use, as to do so would assist those engaged in the activity.