The airport closed and several flights were forced to divert. The incident was said to have been caused by damage to the runway and saw at least two EasyJet planes low on fuel ask for permission to land at nearby Essex airport Stansted. Airport Webcams said: “London Gatwick arrivals now resuming after earlier suspension.
“Three flights squawked 7700 General Emergency due to low fuel and have diverted elsewhere.
“Reasons reported as emergency runway repairs required, or an issue with (British Airways’) #BA2624 which had to be towed off the runway.”
However, it was claimed the incident had nothing to do with the British Airways but “loose tarmac” was spotted as the plane was preparing to take off.
The alerts sparked a frenzy of panic on Twitter.
Aviation specialist Airlive wrote on Twitter: “It looks like there is something wrong at Gatwick.”
Another wrote: “What’s happening at Gatwick Airport? 2 easyJet planes just diverted with emergency squawks, loads of vehicles on the runway.”
Another said: “3 EasyJet A320 family aircrafts are squawking 7700 they are all supposed to land in Gatwick now does anyone know what is going on?”
The easyJet flights affected were from Innsbruck, Thessaloniki and Rome.
A spokesman for the airport said: “Gatwick’s main runway was temporarily closed today at 3.58pm due to an inspection and reopened again at 4.22pm.”
EasyJet has been contacted for comment.
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Published at Thu, 05 Mar 2020 16:35:00 +0000