Police in the British capital have arrested two people over suspicions they were involved in flying drones onto the runway of Gatwick airport earlier in the week which caused massive disruptions.
Police said on Saturday a man and a woman had been arrested late on Friday as part of ongoing investigation into the criminal use of drones in Gatwick in southeast of London.
At least 120,000 people were affected by runway closures at the airport on Wednesday and Thursday, many of them Christmas travelers who were forced to camp on the airport’s terminal.
The disruptions were the biggest affecting Gatwick, Britain’s second-largest airport, since the volcanic ash cloud in 2010.
Authorities have rejected claims that the drone-flying was terrorism-related or the whether the suspects had criminal motives.
However, the disruptions exposed a serious security hole in the administration of airports in Britain, a country which has seen a major boom in the sale of recreational drones over the past years and where a total of 92 near collisions between private drones and aircraft were recorded last year.
The disruptions in Gatwick ended after the British army intervened and deployed unidentified military equipment to guard the runway.
Airport officials urged passengers to be more patient as they said the disruptions would continue into the next week.
“Safety is Gatwick’s top priority and we are grateful for passengers’ continued patience as we work to get them to their final destination in time for Christmas,” said the airport in a statement.
Government officials have ruled out the possibility for passengers to receive compensations as they insist the circumstances created by the drones were extraordinary and unprecedented.
The airlines operating at Gatwick have also declined to comment on the financial impact of the delays.