Follow Metropolitan Police

UPDATE: Investigation into drone at Heathrow Airport

News   •   Jan 09, 2019 13:13 GMT

Police are continuing to make extensive inquiries today, Wednesday, 9 January following the sighting of a drone at Heathrow Airport yesterday evening.

Officers are appealing to the public for any information that may assist them to trace the owner and operator of the drone, which was witnessed flying over Heathrow Airport just after 17:00hrs.

As part of established plans to deal with such an incident, officers were quickly deployed across the airport. Departures were stopped as a precautionary measure whilst initial inquiries were made. Once it was safe to do so, they were resumed just after 18:00hrs and the airport was fully operational.

Significant resources, both in terms of officers and equipment, were deployed to monitor the airspace around Heathrow and quickly detect and disrupt any illegal drone activity. Military assistance is being provided to support us.

The Met Police is continuing to work closely with colleagues from Heathrow Airport Limited today as the criminal investigation continues.

Commander Stuart Cundy, said: “Our priority is keeping the airspace over London's airports safe for the thousands of planes flying in and out every week.

"Any deliberate acts to endanger the airfield and aircraft are serious offences 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.

"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 Met cannot discuss specific operational tactics in relation to dealing with illegal drone use, as to do so would assist those engaged in this illegal activity.