REDDITCH student Liam Kane has described his experiences at Gatwick Airport, having been caught up in the recent drone incident.

Liam, from Church Hill North in Redditch, who was celebrating his 17th birthday, was on his way to a dream holiday to spend Christmas in The Gambia with his parents, John and Joanna, when he was caught up in the chaos at Gatwick.

It was his first ever visit to Africa and as it was an early morning flight, the family had stayed the night before in an airport hotel.

“I realised something was wrong as I checked the BBC headlines the night before, but thought it would be resolved by the morning," he said.

"However, as we checked in at 5.30am, the message on the departure screens said ‘please wait’.

“As the day wore on the departure time kept getting put back and Gatwick Airport and our tour operator Thomas Cook told us nothing.

"We eventually called our local branch of Thomas Cook in the Kingfisher Centre, Redditch, who were really helpful.

"It was the Redditch office who told us that we were not going to get away that day and advised us to book a local hotel and reclaim the cost.”

During the delay, Liam, who attended St. Mary’s RC School in Studley and is now a student at Ampleforth College, gave several radio interviews.

He said: "All the national media were outside the airport but we couldn’t go anywhere as we had already passed passport control."

Laim added: “We eventually landed in The Gambia around 30 hours after we should have, which was a big disappointment as there was so much to see."

About 1,000 flights were affected during the chaos between December 19 and 21 when drones were seen near the runway.

A suggestion by a senior Sussex police officer that there may have been no drones was later dismissed as a "miscommunication".

Sussex Police's chief constable Giles York admitted police drones launched to investigate could have caused "some level of confusion".

However, the Sussex force have denied the use of police drones had caused any disruption.

Despite the incident, Liam, who is currently studying for his A-levels, has not been put off from travelling to exotic lands, but wishes that airports and tour operators could keep their customers better informed during times of disruption.