Heathrow flights grounded after drone sighting

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Ministers are now exploring the use of military grade jammers and blocking systems to bring down rogue drones, such as the Israeli Drone Dome system reported to have been deployed at Gatwick.

We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with the Metropolitan Police to prevent any threat to operational safety.

Outgoing flights were briefly grounded at Britain's largest airport, London Heathrow, following reports of a drone sighting.

Chaos sparked at the UK's biggest airport on at 5.05pm following reports of a drone sighting.

ITV Granada journalist Sarah Rogers tweeted that her flight to Manchester had been grounded, adding that a police investigation was underway. "We apologies to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause".

A spokesperson from the airport confirmed that a drone was sighted near or within the airport, prompting the precautionary suspension of departure flights.

'As a precautionary measure, Heathrow Airport has stopped departures and officers based at Heathrow are now investigating the reports with colleagues from Heathrow Airport, ' the force added.

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BBC producer Kathy Long, speaking from a plane waiting to depart at Heathrow, said passengers had not been told officially what was behind the delay.

York said he is "absolutely certain that there was a drone flying throughout the period that the airport was closed".

Gatwick said it had spent £5m to prevent future attacks.

David Zuelke, who was inside a plane in the runway, wrote: "Sitting on plane on runway at Heathrow Airport".

"We are committed to delivering expansion responsibly, and we encourage everyone to have their say and take part". About 1,000 flights were cancelled or diverted, affecting 140,000 passengers.

Today, the British government announced a package of measures created to give police extra powers to combat drones.

Under new rules, airport exlusion zones have been extended to about 5km from the current 1km and drone pilots can be fined or jailed if their drones transpass.