GATWICK is offering a £50,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the culprits flying drones in the vicinity of Gatwick airport last week leaving about 140,000 passengers stranded. It was the airport’s biggest disruption since the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud of 2010.
Whether or not these drones were intended to cause havoc or harm the mere proximity could create a catastrophe if a prank turned into an accident. Not to mention the amount of personal anguish caused to passengers, missed flights and opportunities to see loved ones over Christmas. The financial implications and innocent people like the 47-year-old man and 54-year-old woman, both from Crawley being arrested and then released.
In the drone or UAS (unmanned aerial vehicle) world they categorise non-compliant dangerous drone operators as criminal, careless or clueless. British authorities do not believe the incidents were linked to terrorism or any foreign power.
Anti-drone technology used by the army has been brought into Gatwick to thwart any further attempts at disruption. Radar lets them detect all activity within the protected airspace to provide a complete view with early warning of intrusive air traffic.
These hunter-killer drones are used widely in America to protect critical infrastructure: oil refineries, airports, data centres, prisons, and stadiums. The key is not to cause collateral damage whilst taking out these intrusive drones.
Hunter drones secure the surrounding airspace and provide protection against attack from malicious or nefarious drones. The Drones are equipped with several ways to bring down a drone including shooting a net onto a weaponised drone and guiding it down to the ground safely.
On a lighter note, an Argentinean football fan brought down a large drone at a football match by throwing a toilet roll – nailed it! This could see the start of a trend where people who see drones in public places being used ‘illegally’ figure out ways to take them out and then posting on social media.