London: Gatwick Airport was closed due to a hole found in the tarmac on the runway. The discovery was made during routine maintenance and caused a high number of passengers to be delayed.
The travel disruption follows further calls for a second runway to be built at Gatwick, which is claimed would reduce the pressure on the current runway and allow for more time for any potential repairs to be made.
The delay saw passengers either stuck at Gatwick or diverted to Southampton. In one newspaper article, some passengers described it as the “journey from hell”.
A total of 8 aircraft were diverted to other airports but along with other delays, the incident at Gatwick has a knock-on effect on Europe. Leaving passengers stranded at various European airports.
The runway was eventually reopened after a wait of over two and a half hours and then flights finally resumed.
While the repairs were made to the runway, the airport brought its backup air strip or second runway into action, which is not usually available for public flights.
It is the second time that a similar defect has been discovered on the runway. In June this year, the airport was forced to close, causing disruption and delays during what is a peak season for airlines and airports.
Aviation experts have advised that hot weather, increased traffic movement and heavier landings are to blame for the damage to the runway.
Gatwick apologised through a spokesperson who said that “the safety of our passengers is the number one priority.”
Written by: Team Flight-Delayed.co.uk