Leeds Bradford airport closes and flight diverted after drone sighting

An airport was forced to close for 45 minutes this afternoon when a drone was spotted nearby.

Leeds Bradford Airport said: “At 12.55pm today, an inbound flight spotted a drone on approach to Leeds Bradford Airport.

“The necessary safety procedures were immediately activated, which resulted in the airport being closed for 45 minutes and a flight being diverted to Manchester Airport.

“We can now confirm that the airport is fully open and receiving flights again.

“We are liaising with West Yorkshire Police regarding the incident and will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

In a tweet, police said: “[We] can confirm that at around 2.03pm a report was received of a drone flying in Horsforth, near to the Old Ball roundabout. Flights were temporarily grounded at Leeds Bradford Airport as a precaution and resumed again at around 2.48pm.”

Gatwick had to close for 33 hours in the week before Christmas after a number of drone sightings there.

Around 140,000 passenger journeys were disrupted and the army had to be called in with anti-drone equipment, which remained at the airport until last month.

Heathrow closed briefly in January after a drone sighting there too.

Both airports have said they are investing millions in technology to combat the threat of drones.

Drones are banned in airspace because any collision of an object with an aircraft is dangerous.

Drone users can be fined or even jailed if they fly a drone within the new 5km (three mile) zones.

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