On July 2, 2017, a single drone was spotted flying in the direct flight path of Gatwick Airport in London, England. Not wanting to take any chances, all incoming traffic was put into holding patterns. Some flights with fuel concerns were diverted to another airport, while the arriving flights stacked up. The drone disappeared and some were allowed to land. The drone reappeared and incoming traffic once again stopped. This went on for a bit before the drone went away for good. National Air Traffic Services (NATS) created an amazing animated visual to show much chaos was caused by a lone drone flying where it shouldn’t.
On Sunday 2 July, a drone was spotted on the approach path to Gatwick Airport. This is the disruption it caused.
Unconfirmed reports of a drone sighting led to runway suspension for a total of 14 mins. Operations fully resumed and police investigating.
— Gatwick Airport LGW (@Gatwick_Airport) July 2, 2017
Since that time, NATS has developed more specific guidelines for flying drones near restricted airspace.
— NATS (@NATS) October 17, 2017