Last updated: 04:16 PM ET, Wed January 20 2016

Shetland Pony Shuts Down Traffic at British Airport

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | January 20, 2016

Shetland Pony Shuts Down Traffic at British Airport

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Passengers arriving at airports have become accustomed to delays, but generally not like this. This past Tuesday at Goucestershire Airport in England, several flights were unable to land or take off due to a Shetland pony wandering on the facility’s airstrip.

According to Shanti Das of The Mirror, a call was placed on Tuesday at around 1:20 p.m. local time to airport authorities reporting that a small horse was running free along the airport’s runway. Airport officials called police, and began attempting to corral the pony.

All flights temporarily delayed their takeoffs and around six planes were forced to wait for a landing while the animal was captured. Authorities eventually found the pony’s owner, and the animal was returned to its home at a nursery in close proximity to the airport at around 2:30 p.m. local time.

After clearing the airstrip of emergency vehicles, employees and a pony, service at the airport returned to normal at around 3 p.m. local time.

Goucestershire Airport operations director Darren Lewington released a statement to The Mirror about the incident:

“I have been doing this for about 25 years and I have never had an incident like this before. Wild animals on the air field are not uncommon, deer and foxes and rabbits, but never a horse. I think about half a dozen light aircraft were held - nobody was diverted or anything - while we got the horse off the runway. We're not entirely sure how it got on the airfield because the perimeter of the fence is quite secure. It evaded capture for an hour so. We did have to briefly close the airfield.”

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