The sightings reported from at least two rogue drones flying near the second busiest airport in the UK in December 2018 caused an unprecedented level of disruption at one of the busiest times of the year. 39, year for air traffic control.
Security Issues at Gatwick Airport in Southern England December 20th this meant that no aircraft was allowed to take off, all incoming flights being diverted to airports located in cities in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe.
Gatwick was out of action for a total of 36 hours, drones reappearing repeatedly throughout the closure whenever the authorities were preparing to consider that the sky was safe. About 1,000 flights were canceled during the incident, and some 140,000 passengers saw their vacation travel plans ruined.
The incident was a wake-up call for British authorities about the type of turbulence that a tiny, remote controlled flying device can cause if it is near an airport. And security officials, who feared a drone strike, could not, in the worst case, down an airliner. With this in mind, it is not surprising that Gatwick suspended operations while searching for unreliable flying machines.
Geathwick and London-Heathrow airports would invest millions of dollars in a "military-grade anti-drone device" to prevent unwanted devices from flying near airport facilities. the Guardian reported recently.
Until now, both airports have refused to provide details on the type of technology that they use, but it is thought that it is similar to the Drone Dome system created by the Israeli company Rafael and which would have been briefly used in Gatwick in the days that followed. The December incident.
The Dome drone can track aircraft in flight within six miles and establish confusing communications between the drone and its operator. Rafael himself describes the Dome drone as an "end-to-end system designed to provide effective airspace defense against hostile drones used by terrorists to carry out aerial attacks, collect intelligence, and conduct terrorist attacks." 39, other intimidating activities ".
While the vast majority of UAV owners drive their machines responsibly and enjoy all the benefits they were designed toincursions into sites such as airports, prisons and critical infrastructure are on the rise. As a result, an increasing number of companies are competing for contracts with technology designed to eject rogue UAVs from the sky if they enter restricted areas. Digital Trends recently reviewed a selection of systems currently available.
In the case of the Gatwick incident, two people were arrested by the police and released without charge. No other arrests were made, a police officer even suggesting there was a "possibility" that the multiple drone observations were somehow mistaken. However, Gatwick officials insisted that drones were genuine and that their reaction was measured and appropriate.