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East Midlands Airport reroutes more flights over Download Festival drone reports

todayJune 11, 2022

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East Midlands Airport officials were again forced to reroute flights on Friday night (June 10) following reports of more drones close to the site from the nearby Download Festival. The latest update comes after certain flights had to be diverted on Friday after witnesses in Long Eaton reported seeing a ‘UFO’ near Donington Park the night before.

Passengers vented their frustration online as planes were diverted to other airports in the country to refuel. The news comes after two days of disruption at the airport this week. Leicestershire Live reports that the airport was shut for around half an hour on Friday afternoon due to sightings.

They were spotted in the air near Donington Park, Castle Donington – the site of three-day rock-fest, Download Festival. Flight enthusiasts took to Twitter around 11pm after planes were spotted flying to Birmingham International, London Stansted and London Luton airports instead. The airport released a joint statement with police and the festival on Friday regarding the disruption.

But the delays and diversions continued into the night. One Twitter user claimed: “East Midlands Airport closed again more drones”, as another reported: “Looks like East Midlands Airport closed and planes in hold or being diverted. Two Ryanairs declared emergency and going to Manchester, presumably with low fuel.”

A passenger on a flight rerouted to Manchester Airport told Leicestershirelive: “Sitting on the tarmac at Manchester Airport after our flight from Tenerife to East Midlands was diverted. The pilot says we will refuel and try again.” The flight was due to land at EMA after midnight but passengers were stuck on the plane past 1am.

Another user took to the social media site to question the delays. He wrote: “Anyone know what’s happened at EMA East Midlands Airport? Quite a few diverting, two Ryanairs diverted to MAN Manchester were emergencies. Others diverting to BHX Birmingham, STN London Stansted and LTN London Luton airports. #7700.”

Someone else claimed festival go-ers at Download Festival were behind the delays. They wrote: “So, basically, wherever you are in the UK right now, you’ve probably got a plane destined for EMA holding somewhere near you, because someone at Download Festival has decided it’s a great idea to play with drones right next to a busy airport, again.”

“Don’t be them people at Download 2022 who fly drones over East Midlands Airport. It’s currently 1.17 AM. And we’ve had to divert to Leeds Bradford as there’s drones over the airport from Download! DONT BE THEM PEOPLE,” said another passenger waiting to land.

Passengers flying in and out from the airport faced delays on Friday, too, as flights were re-routed. The disruption began shortly after 2pm, as a spokesman for EMA confirmed the airport was shut for 30 minutes. A joint statement from Leicestershire Police, Download Festival and East Midlands Airport confirmed only a “small number of flights” were affected..

A joint statement from East Midlands Airport, Leicestershire Police and Download Festival confirmed the “operational disruption” had been ongoing for the last 48 hours.

The statement said: “Recent reports of drone sightings near Donington Park have resulted in some operational disruption at East Midlands Airport during the last 48 hours. This has primarily affected the night-cargo operation but a small number of passenger flights have been diverted to other airports this afternoon.

“The safe operation of the EMA aerodrome and the safety of the public at the event are a priority. Together, Leicestershire Police, festival organisers and the airport continue to work closely to monitor the situation. As a result, both the festival organisers and the police have enhanced the number of patrols on site and the surrounding areas.

“The public are reminded that flying a drone in proximity to an operational airport is an offence under the Civil Aviation Act 1982 and is a huge risk to public safety. The police will take appropriate action if necessary”.

Written by: thehitnetwork

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