London's Gatwick Airport after a full day of cancellations yesterday due to a mysterious drone seen over and over in the area. Flying drones near an airport are illegal because flights can not take off and get due to possible collisions. The British military is even called to search for drone operators, but they still have no idea who is behind the deliberate disruption of a major transport hub.
It is still unclear what kind of drone or drone may be the problem, although the local police have announced that "equipment used is an industrial specification." No clear pictures of drones are released.
Other airports around the world are in high alert because if it is a coordinated Interruption it is obviously not much to put a full show off the commission. It appears that everything you need is a drone with enough long range to avoid catching.
"It's an unprecedented issue, not an issue with Gatwick Airport, it's not an issue in the UK, it's an international issue," said Gatwick's chief executive Chris Woodroofe after flights again, according to the Guardian.
"We have been working with technologists for the last 12 months but stand here now, there is no commercially available airport licensed proven technology that I can implement," continued Woodroofe.
But the police say it is trying to use jammers of radio signals, just the same, in an effort to prevent drones. The airport crawled with more police and military than usual, as expected. And there are calls to "shot" only a drone, even more involved than it seems. First you have to get it.
From the Evening Standard:
This decision was safe to continue the flight was taken after the police, Army and RAF specialists set up an armory of counter measures. It includes a hi-tech monitoring system of the type used in the struggle to liberate Mosul in northern Iraq, sent to the successive equipment of the "drone killer" which may disable them.
New electronic jammers and police snipers armed by Heckler & Koch The rifles are also part of the defenses to stop those who cause drone operators threatening again at the airport. Britain is a leader in the use of electronic traffic systems – especially in the detection and acquisition of improvised explosive devices – in Afghanistan.
Despite the fact that flights have been resumed, there are significant delays and cancellations in Gatwick. At 12:20 local time, 7:20 pm Eastern time, 91 of 412 scheduled to arrive in Gatwick has been canceled and 64 of 371 departures at Gatwick have occurred.
Who is behind the disruption? Your guess is as good as anyone, looks like it. Some believe it is domestic actors like British environmentalists. Others may speculate that it might be a state actor like China or Russia trying to find what to do to run an airport. If we find that the answer is "it's not much."
Authorities are encouraged by the fact that there is no drone sighting since 10:00 pm last night local time. "We have made a lot of progress overnight, clearly working hard with our partners and other forces and the authority of the airport," Sussex Police officer Steve Barry said at the Evening Standard.
"We are in a better position today. We have a number of inquiry lines and we are quite positive in terms of the way we are progressing the investigation."
But the union's pilot is understandably concerned that the authorities have yet to find the culprit. The union said on a tweets this morning that "remains extremely concerned about the dangers of the drone collision. It is possible that drivers may live around the perimeter or may restrict flight paths to out of the immediate detection zone. "
Passengers are aware of anxiety about delays, as the weekend before Christmas is one of the busiest times to travel all year round. Anyone who is behind the disruption can face life in prison, according to British authorities.
[Evening Standard and The Guardian and Sky News]