The only thing stacking up here is the holding pattern
Am I missing something or do the reports and reactions of the airport not stack up?
Originally we're told there were sightings of drone(s) at 21:03 on Wednesday. Then the further night-time reports (both sets of reports apparently from airfield personnel) So, rather dark. Being able to see and identify a drone would require it to be extremely close. Otherwise its just "lights in the sky moving in what appears to be a controlled manner".
As a result the airport shuts down air operations.
The 'reported sightings' in daylight don't add any clarity - many may well be false and/or mis-identified reports due to people being primed to expect 'drones'.
Then this further - at this time apparently 'unconfirmed sighting' according to the BBC's report of the police statement - sighting Thursday, again after dark, and the air operations shut down again.
The reaction seems like extreme over-reaction unless those in charge at the airport know something we've not been told. It's almost as if they had something in mind when 'drone' was reported and were reacting to that - e.g. possibly a prior threat to attack an aircraft with drones that was thought to be a hoax, so when a 'drone' is apparently detected they react to the prior threat, not this sighting.
The reason I suggest this is we've had previous alleged near-misses and drone sightings by pilots and ground staff at various arifields across the world and not one of them has shut down air operations like this - so why is Gatwick reacting differently?