At a time when travelers are embarking on journeys home for the holidays, the second largest airport in the United Kingdom—Gatwick Airport—has shut down due to sightings of drones flying overhead.
The drones have resulted in chaos affecting over 110,000 passengers, not to mention the diversion of numerous flights that were scheduled to land at Gatwick before the sightings. Those flights have diverted their landings to London’s Heathrow airport while some were forced to land other places in Europe. The airport isn’t expected to reopen until Thursday afternoon.
Prime Minister Theresa May assured that the culprits would face prison time:
“We’ve already passed legislation in relation to the use of drones, so it is now—as has been made clear—the activity we’ve seen is illegal and those who are caught endangering aircraft can face up to five years in prison.”
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) December 20, 2018
The British army is reportedly intervening to find the culprits.
BREAKING: Gavin Williamson has just confirmed to me & other reporters: “We will be deploying the armed forces” at #Gatwick, who will use “unique military capability” to help in the drone crisis.
Declines to give any further detail about what military will or can do.
— Lucy Fisher (@LOS_Fisher) December 20, 2018
But many were left wondering what this means for overall preparation if a small drone can bring the airport to a standstill.
I may be being ignorant here but… how are we unable to defend ourselves against some drones? #Gatwick
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) December 20, 2018
If a couple of drones can shut down a major airport ie Gatwick, how the fuck are we going to cope with a #NoDealBrexit? Just asking for a friend.
— Loz Argyle (@ArgyleLoz) December 20, 2018
Should UK be buying Typhoons/F35 if it can't cope with drones over Gatwick? #priorities And all those terrorism contingency plans, how useful have they been?
— PeterW (@PeterW4tw) December 20, 2018
We are, supposedly, preparing for a no deal Brexit, and meanwhile, a small, radio controlled toy holds the country to ransom. If we hadn't been prepared for this how the hell can we be prepared for the disaster of no deal?https://t.co/Hw59vNxSOn
— Colin Tassell#FBPE (@ColinTassell) December 20, 2018
The English may be known for their composure, but some were understandably about to lose it.
What’s happening at Gatwick is just a foretaste of what would be happening across all ports and airports in the event of the no deal Brexit which Theresa May is ludicrously threatening rather than agreeing to a people’s vote, which most people now want
— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) December 20, 2018
The person who’s flying a drone in and out of Gatwick airport is going to get absolutely fucked when they’re caught…
Such a small but effective thing to cause mass disruption in one of the busiest times of the year.
— Lux (@Callux) December 20, 2018
A message for the wankers flying drones @Gatwick_Airport I’m due back there Sunday FUCK OFF as if you delay my flight I will spend the rest of my life hunting you down , I will find you & I will shit in your mouths #dronesovergatwick
— Proudatheist (@pointlessprayer) December 20, 2018
— Katharine Bubbear (@KathBubbear) December 20, 2018
Cheers to whoever is flying drones over Gatwick, I may not make it back for my Christmas turkey, bastards😤
— Michael (@souomichael) December 20, 2018
Despite the inconvenience, there were several jokes made.