Flight disruption:"My plane was stuck for 12 hours on the tarmac at Birmingham airport after Gatwick shutdown."

A businessman has told how he and his fellow passengers were stuck on the tarmac at Birmingham airport for 12 hours after their flight from Kiev was diverted due to the Gatwick shutdown

Chris Lister said they weren't told how long they would be in Birmingham and were only offered cups of water. When some passengers asked for food, Mr Lister, said they were told there wasn't enough for everyone.

Mr Lister was one of ten thousand passengers affected after flights at Gatwick airport were suspended when drones were spotted being flown nearby.

Altogether five planes originally en route to Gatwick, were diverted to Birmingham. Mr Lister was given a taxi back to London, while others were put on buses.

A flight from Egypt and another from Cape Verdi heading to Gatwick were diverted to East Midlands Airport (EMA) affecting 286 passengers.

Joe Bond's flight from Belfast was also diverted to Birmingham, and he joked on twitter about the delay.

From the sound of the stewards we might be staying here forever. Update. Got a free can of Coke and Pringles. Which has made the delay better.

Joe Bond, Passenger
Flights from Gatwick have been diverted to other airports including Birmingham and East Midlands Credit: ITV news

Speaking today on Radio 4, Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick's chief operating officer, said drones had been spotted over the airport as late as 7am on Thursday.

He described the flying of the drones "irresponsible" act, telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme that 10,000 people had been affected by the closure, including 2,000 whose flights had not been able to take off.

Gatwick has advised anyone due to fly from the airport, or collecting someone, to check the status of their flight before travelling.