How The Queen's Funeral Caused Disruptions For Air Travel

The death of Queen Elizabeth II has brought much of Great Britain to a standstill, and that has applied to people trying to enter and exit the region as well. The queen will begin lying in state at Westminster Hall on Wednesday, September 14, and per CNN, will continue to do so until the state funeral set to take place on Monday, September 19. According to Metro, British Airways has already canceled 16 short-haul flights on account of airspace restrictions. A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport announced that "appropriate alterations" will be made regarding scheduled flights as needed "out of respect," including delaying flights between 1:50 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. on September 14 in order to "ensure silence over central London" as the funeral procession makes its way from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.

Airplanes have been an important concern throughout the events following the queen's death. As she died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, after a procession through Scotland and 24 hours lying in state at St. Giles' Cathedral in the capital city of Edinburgh, the Royal Air Force escorted the coffin to London via plane. Per CNN, the place set an all-time record for the most-tracked flight ever. Estimates report that about 5 million people followed the plane's one hour and 12 minute journey to military station RAF Northolt in Greater London.

Flights in and out of Heathrow Airport canceled in advance

According to Mirror, flights canceled to avoid planes flying over the processional from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey include scheduled trips to Warsaw, Poland; Stockholm, Sweden; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Dusseldorf, Germany; Basel, Switzerland; Faro, Portugal; Los Angeles, California; and many more. It's unknown whether all cancellations are on account of the processional; some may be due to capping the number of travelers passing through Heathrow Airport. However, the airport posted on social media that "Out of respect for the period of mourning following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, some flights between 13:50–15:40 on Wed 14 Sept will be disrupted to ensure silence during the ceremonial procession."

Heads of state who are arriving in London to attend the funeral will have to fly commercial or land at an alternate airport, as Heathrow will not be accepting private jets on September 19, the day of the funeral. Stansted Airport, found near Essex, just over 40 miles from Central London, will accept chartered planes and process the passengers privately. Thus far it plans on operating on a normal schedule, as do fellow British airports Gatwick, Liverpool, and Manchester. Birmingham Airport released a statement reading, "Staff and customers will observe the national silence in and around the airport. We intend to pause take-offs and arrivals for the period of the national silence." Arriving dignitaries have been asked to forgo arriving via helicopter due to the noise. Finally, planes, kites, small balloons, and drones are prohibited from flying below 2,500 feet during the funeral on Monday.