Heathrow Airport runways reopen after drone sighting halts departures

Runways at Heathrow Airport have been reopened after they were shut as police investigated a drone sighting.

Earlier on Wednesday (NZ Time), the airport tweeted that it was working with Metropolitan Police after drone activity at Heathrow, and had stopped departures while an investigation was underway.

The Metropolitan Police also tweeted, saying that it had received reports of a drone sighting.

Although departures have resumed, Heathrow Airport says it will continue to work with police on reports of the drone acitvity.

Passengers at the busy London airport took to Twitter to say their flights had been grounded.

"Sitting on the runway at London's Heathrow. Airport has been closed due to drone activity. The control tower has no idea when will be allowed to depart," said one user.

FlightRadar24, which tracks planes in real time, showed a cluster of aircraft around the airport following the closure of runways.

A cluster of  planes at Heathrow Airport.
A cluster of planes at Heathrow Airport. Photo credit: FlightRadar24

One woman said she had been stting on the runway for roughly an hour and a half, while another claimed they had seen a police helicopter over the runway.

Last year drone chaos struck Gatwick airport, interrupting the travel plans of 140,000 passengers as the airport shutdown for more than 24 hours.