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Pair Charged For Drone Activity At Gatwick As Flights Resume

For days, the drones had caused chaos at Britain's second-busiest airport just before Christmas.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the "criminal use of drones" that has caused widespread disruption to flights at Gatwick Airport, authorities say.

Tens of thousands of passengers were affected and hundreds of flights were cancelled.

"As part of our ongoing investigations into the criminal use of drones which has severely disrupted flights in and out of Gatwick Airport, Sussex Police made two arrests just after 10pm on 21 December," police said in a statement.

The force has not disclosed the ages or genders of those arrested, nor the locations of where the arrests took place.

"Our investigations are still on-going."

Crowds Building at Gatwick Airport (Image AAP)

London's Gatwick Airport says flights have resumed after a temporary shutdown due to a drone sighting.

The airport said in a statement that "military measures" in place at Britain's second-busiest airport made it safe to resume flight operations.

It said take-offs and landings had been suspended earlier on Friday --  for roughly 80 minutes -- as a precautionary measure while an investigation was under way.

An airport spokeswoman said there had been a confirmed sighting of a drone.

Flights at Gatwick, which serves over 43 million passengers a year, had been shut down all of Thursday and for several hours on Wednesday evening due to drone sightings.

The shutdowns have caused chaos over the holiday period.

Britain deployed unidentified military technology to guard the airport against what transport minister Chris Grayling said were thought to be several drones.

"This kind of incident is unprecedented anywhere in the world," he said.

The motivation of the drone operator, or operators, was unclear.

READ MORE: London's Gatwick Airport Reopens After Drone Chaos

Police said there was nothing to suggest the crippling of one of Europe's busiest airports was a terrorist attack.

“Our activities at the airport continue to build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions from drones, by deploying a range of tactics," police said in a statement.

Gatwick's drone nightmare is thought to be the most disruptive yet at a major airport and indicates a new vulnerability that will be scrutinised by security forces and airport operators across the world.

The army and police snipers were called in to hunt down the drones, thought to be industrial-style craft, which flew near the airport every time authorities tried to reopen it on Thursday.

Grounded planes at Gatwick Airport (Image AAP)

"In terms of the motivation, there's a whole spectrum of possibilities, from the really high-end criminal behaviour that we've seen, all the way down to potentially, just individuals trying to be malicious, trying to disrupt the airport," he said.

The defence ministry refused to comment on what technology was deployed, but drone experts said airports needed to deploy specialist radar reinforced by thermal imaging technology to detect such unmanned flying vehicles.

Other ways to tackle them is typically by frequency jamming that can disable or disrupt control signals and the GPS signals that allow the drones to navigate.

The drone sightings caused misery for travellers, many sleeping on the airport floor as they searched for alternative routes to holidays and Christmas family gatherings.

Featured image: AAP