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Gatwick airport CLOSED: Pilot’s reaction to drones cancelling all flights – latest update | Travel News | Travel

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Gatwick Airport has cancelled all flights to and from Gatwick again this morning after travel chaos overnight when a drone was spotted on inside the airport zone.

This morning another drone was reportedly spotted inside the airport, leading officials to release an official statement once again telling passengers not to arrive for their flights until they’ve spoken to the airline. In the latest statement on the incident, a Gatwick spokeswoman said: “Flights to and from Gatwick Airport remain suspended following reports of drones flying over Gatwick’s airfield last night and in the early hours of this morning. “We are advising passengers scheduled to fly from Gatwick not to travel to the airport without checking the status of their flight with their airline this morning. We apologise for the inconvenience, but the safety of all passengers and staff is our first priority.”

CLICK HERE FOR LATEST UPDATES: IS GATWICK AIRPORT OPEN YET? ARE FLIGHTS TAKING OFF TODAY? 

Ahead of the Christmas rush, this travel chaos is less than ideal but one pilot has taken it upon himself to find a lighter side of the situation.

The pilot, who goes by the username Txarlylm on Instagram, shared a selfie with his 120 followers from the cockpit of a plane.

The former Spanair and Vueling pilot looked into the camera resting his head on his hand.

He said: “Stuck in London Gatwick!! Someone was flying drones inside the airport zone. Airport closed to all operations.

“All of us, passangers and crew inside the airplane for more than 2 hours and delay undetermined.

“#drone #gatwick #egkk #lgw #delay #flying #fly #flightdelay #gatwickairport #runwayclosed #grounded #securityfirst #chaos #airport #airportsecurity #cockpitview #crewlife #pilot #captain #tired.”

The man, who describes himself as an “A320 Captain” in his bio often posts snaps from his travels but this morning he wasn’t going anywhere.

Ten thousand passengers have suffered flight chaos after the runway at Gatwick Airport was closed due to drones being flown nearby.

Flights in and out of the UK’s second busiest airport were suspended at about 9pm on Wednesday after two of the devices were seen near the West Sussex airfield.

Gatwick announced the runway had reopened at about 3am on Thursday, but 45 minutes later it was shut again after a further sighting of drones.

Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick’s chief operating officer, said drones had been spotted over the airport as late as 7am on Thursday.

He blasted the “irresponsible” act, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that 10,000 people had been affected by the closure, including 2,000 whose flights had been unable to take off.

He said two drones had been seen flying “over the perimeter fence and into where the runway operates from”.

Mr Woodroofe added that the drones had sparked “very significant disruption for passengers” but that police did not want to shoot them down because of the risk from stray bullets.

He told Today: “Last night there were 10,000 people disrupted.

“There were 6,000 people flying in from around the world to Gatwick who were diverted to alternative airports as we closed, there were 2,000 people who didn’t take off from their origin airport and there are a further 2,000 people here who couldn’t fly to their destination because the airport closed.”

He added that 20 police units from two forces were hunting for the pilot, saying: “The police are looking for the operator and that is the way to disable to drone.

“We also have the helicopter up in the air but the police advice us that it would be dangerous to seek to shoot the drone down because of what may happen to the stray bullets.”

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Travel & Escape

American woman faces $2,800 parking bill after leaving car in Toronto during pandemic

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Parking in the city can be costly, but one American woman is learning just how bad it can be after being unable to retrieve her car for nearly a year.

Detroit resident Kim Richardson left her 2004 Honda Element at the Park2Sky lot by Pearson airport in March 2020 before flying out to Europe for a medical procedure. She originally planned to retrieve it within two weeks but partway through her trip, the Canada-US border got closed due to COVID-19 precautions.

Richardson’s return flight was rerouted to Detroit and she’s been unable to return to Toronto since.

What was originally a $100 bill has now inflated to $2,800 as the lot’s owner says he has a business to operate and is owed payment for 11 months of storage. However, Richardson believes she’s being extorted for an issue beyond her control.

Park2Sky personnel claim that several Americans who found themselves in similar predicaments have had their cars shipped home.

“I don’t understand, I don’t know what’s going on here. Business is down, I’m not making any money at all. People who leave their car are paid. She’s the only one that hasn’t paid,” said the owner to CBC News this week.

The stalemate is expected to last a while longer as travel restrictions remain in place and Ontario Provincial Police have said they won’t get involved in a civil matter.

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All systems are go for St. Lawrence Cruise Lines in 2021

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KINGSTON — Despite Canada’s newly extended cruise ship ban, Canadians still have a small-ship cruising alternative in 2021 with St. Lawrence Cruise Lines.

The small-ship operator, which sails on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, has confirmed operations for 2021, with overnight cruises on both rivers from May 20 to Oct. 24. A variety of cruises ranging from four to seven nights will depart from Kingston, Ottawa and Quebec City, sailing exclusively in domestic waters with stops at select ports in Ontario and Quebec.

On Feb. 4, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra announced that Canada’s cruise ship ban will be extended until Feb. 28, 2022. This measure, which effectively prohibits cruise vessels carrying more than 100 passengers from operating in Canadian waters, does not impact the small-ship operations of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines and its 32-stateroom CANADIAN EMPRESS.

“We are excited to offer travellers a small ship option for the 2021 season,” said President Jason Clark. “Our overnight cruises stay close to shore in Canadian waters and our COVID-19 Health and Safety program has been recognized for its high standards.”

This past December, the cruise line was awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) for adherence to global standards of health and hygiene. The program includes a wide range of safety measures, including reduced passenger loads, masking, physical distancing and hospital-grade electrostatic disinfecting for both private staterooms and shared spaces. Plus, all staterooms have access to fresh air, climate controls and views of the river.

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Travel & Escape

Here’s How Canada’s ‘Screening Officers’ Will Check On Travellers During Quarantine

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The federal government is reminding all travellers in Canada that “Screening Officers” may pay them a visit post-arrival.

In a statement about the country’s latest travel restrictions, Transport Canada confirmed that newly-trained officials would be tasked with checking up on travellers during their two-week quarantine period.

The role of the Screening Officers will be to visit travellers’ quarantine locations to “establish contact, confirm identify and confirm that travellers are at the place of quarantine they identified upon entry into Canada.”

This is to make sure individuals are complying with Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement.

The checks will be conducted across 35 Canadian cities, having already started in Montreal and Toronto back in January.

The officials will provide “compliance education” and will be able to issue verbal warnings, but stronger enforcement action will be referred to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and then law enforcement for follow-up checks. 

Failing to comply with the Quarantine Act or with Screening Officers’ instructions could result in fines of up to $750,000 or even jail time.

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