A brief spell of hell travelling in and around the south of England appears to be over, as the operators of Gatwick airport say they've patched up an alleged hole that opened up in the site's main runway.
Gatwick itself made no mention of their being a hole in its runway, mind, with this fact being relayed by local reporters. The airport simply blamed "findings" in a safety check, saying: "Gatwick had to switch operations from its usual southern runway to its stand-in northern runway, as a precautionary measure, following findings during one of our regular maintenance checks."
Whatever the problem was it was deemed serious enough for the airport to route traffic to this alternative/spare runway at around 7.40pm on Sunday evening, to keep people flowing. Some travellers were diverted to Southampton, some were kept circling in the skies for longer than usual and some delayed for up to three hours, with eight flights being diverted in total. It's all working again now, though.
Now, about this secret spare second emergency runway they can just suddenly start using on a whim. How long have they been keeping that secret? They've been banging on about wanting a second runway one for ages, but have already got a spare? Who else happens to have a spare runway they've been keeping secret? How many has Heathrow really got? [Standard]