Europe

Gatwick drone chaos cost the airport £1,400,000

The drone that held Gatwick to a standstill for three days last December cost the airport just £1.4 million.

Airport officials said on Tuesday that the figure was ‘immaterial’ to its finances, as airlines took most of the fall for the incident.

Airlines had previously said the costs ran into the tens of millions, with easyJet forking out £15 million in compensation and revenue losses.

Gatwick – Britain’s second biggest airport – was closed just before Christmas last year after multiple drone sightings disrupted runways for 36 hours.

It was shut down shortly again on December 21, after further sightings in the area.


The incident affected 140,000 travellers and more than 1,000 flights were cancelled, while police and the military were brought in to assist.

Police have yet to identify the culprit, however CEO of Gatwick, Stewart Wingate, did not rule out that it could have been an inside job.

He added: ‘There are many other potential sources and it’s an ongoing investigation.’

The CEO announced on Tuesday that despite the incident the airport had taken an annual profit of £208 million.

Since the scare he said the airport has installed an extra £4 million-worth of anti-drone technology.

Speaking of action taken during the disruption, Mr Wingate added he ‘fully stood by the decisions taken back then’ to close the airport.

He added: ‘When we came under a sustained attack, as we did, we didn’t waver.’

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