Airport Drone Disruptions

When Drone Disruptions Affect Airports

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Drones are becoming an increasing threat to air travel. If an unmanned aerial vehicle hits an aircraft, it could cause serious damage.

Because of this serious safety concern, officials took the rare step of shutting down Britain’s second busiest airport this week.

At Gatwick Airport, illegal drones forced the hundreds of flight cancellations, affecting over 130,000 passengers. The shutdown lasted over 30 hours and raised questions over how to prevent drone activity near airports worldwide (without permission to fly, it’s illegal in both UK and US).

Gatwick Airport Drone Disruptions
In December 2018, Gatwick Airport closed the runway to air travel due to illegal drone activity. Photo credit: wikimedia

For those with scheduled flight departures and arrivals, drone disruptions can wreak havoc on travel plans.

Travel Insurance and Drone Disruptions

When it comes to compensation, travelers can request compensation from the airline if it was delayed or canceled due to a security threat. However, in the case of Gatwick, the closure was beyond the airlines’ control and compensation was not required.

Travelers that purchased travel insurance can also file a claim to request compensation in the event a delay caused added expenses like a hotel stay. It is still unclear how some travel insurance companies may process claims related to this event. However, most companies do offer travel delay coverage for any common carrier delay. A few specific plans also will cover a trip cancellation in this scenario, as long as the reason for the airport closing was due to a documented security breach.

Be Prepared For Anything

While officials consider new ways to curb illegal uses of drones flying near airports, travelers must find new ways to best cope.

Contingency planning is always useful for travelers, in the event a flight is delayed or canceled.

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