Shropshire airfield forced to close after hunting dogs 'invade' runways
An active Shropshire airfield was forced to close to flights, and planes were delayed from landing and taking off, after hunting hounds ran loose across the runways.
Some flights were cancelled and others were delayed for hours after dogs from the North Shropshire hunt trespassed onto Sleap Airfield, near Wem, on Saturday.
The disruption caused three aircraft to change their course and left some pilots and customers grounded for the day.
In a statement posted online, a spokesperson for the airfield said: "A message for whichever hunt it was today – it is NOT ok for your dogs to invade the runways and grounds of an active airfield, causing three of our aircraft to divert due to us being forced to close.
"Apologies to our customers, who either had their flights cancelled, or delayed for hours because of this incident."
Airfield manager nathan Cross said the incident was now under investigation and he had been in touch with the hunt and would be meeting with them in the coming days to discuss the incursion.
He added that the airfield, line any other around the country, had a system in place to deal with any incursion which could occur.
A spokesman from the hunt said: “On Saturday the North Shropshire Hunt was carrying out lawful trail-hunting activities when a handful of hounds deviated from the scent which had been laid for them to follow.
"Action was taken immediately to retrieve the hounds and we want to thank everybody involved at Sleap Airfield who enabled us to remove the hounds from the area as soon as possible.
"We express our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate all the assistance given at the time.”