A 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman from the West Sussex town were arrested in connection with the drone intrusions that caused mayhem for tens of thousands of holiday travellers at London's Gatwick Airport.

Passengers wait at the North Terminal at London Gatwick Airport, south of London, on December 20, 2018 after all flights were grounded due to drones flying over the airfield.
Passengers wait at the North Terminal at London Gatwick Airport, south of London, on December 20, 2018 after all flights were grounded due to drones flying over the airfield. (AFP)

London's Gatwick Airport was plagued by long lines and flight delays on Saturday but no new drone sightings, allowing British officials to hope the worse was over after two people were arrested in connection with the drone invasion that had shut down the country's second-busiest airport.

Check-in lines at Gatwick stretched the length of the departures hall as harried travelers tried to make good on Christmas plans upended by three days of extended shutdowns caused by drones being spotted over the airfield.

The persistent drone crisis at Gatwick, 30 miles (45 kilometers) south of London, has had a ripple effect throughout the international air travel system since Wednesday night, when the first drone was spotted.

A Gatwick spokesman said on Saturday that "things are going in the right direction" and should be back to normal by the end of the weekend after a horrendous few days that saw tens of thousands of travelers stranded or delayed.

Sussex police released few details about the two suspects arrested late on Friday in the worst drone-inflicted travel chaos to hit Britain. 

Police say the investigation is ongoing and the military was still deployed to prevent further drone incursions from shutting Gatwick's airspace.

Police said Saturday the drone suspects are a 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman from Crawley, a town 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the airport. They were arrested on suspicion of disrupting civil aviation.

The suspects, who have not been named or charged, were being questioned in custody. 

 The motive for their aggressive drone flights has not been established, but officials say there are no indications it is "terror related."

There have been no new drone sightings since the arrests.

TRT World's Natasha Hussain reports. 

Gatwick's arrival and departure boards showed that most flights operated on Saturday but there were still a significant number of delayed takeoffs and landings. In all, the airport hoped to run 757 flights, serving just under 125,000 passengers.

Gatwick handles 43 million passengers a year.

Source: AP