Thousands of passengers were delayed, diverted or stuck on planes Thursday as the only runway at Britain’s Gatwick Airport remained closed into a second day after drones were spotted over the airfield.

The airport south of London — Britain’s second-busiest by passenger numbers — closed its runway Wednesday evening after two drones were spotted. It reopened briefly at about 3 a.m. Thursday, but shut 45 minutes later after further sightings.

The airport said all incoming and outgoing flights were suspended. Passengers were advised to check the status of their flights before heading to the airport, where many slept on floors or formed long lines at information desks.

Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick’s chief operating officer, said that roughly 10,000 people had been affected by the shutdown by Thursday morning, including 2,000 whose planes were unable to take off from Gatwick, 2,000 stuck at their points of origin and 6,000 diverted to other airports in Britain, as well as Paris and Amsterdam.

He said at least one drone remained in the area Thursday morning.

“As I stand here, there is a drone on my airfield as we speak,” Woodroofe told Sky News.

Source:  Daily Sabah

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