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Transport for London / PCO Licence no 08004/01/01
3 - Jan - 2019

Military Withdraws Anti-Drone Hardware from Gatwick Airport

Anti-drone military hardware that was brought into Gatwick airport to stop illegal drones just before Christmas has been withdrawn, the Ministry of Defence said,

The drones caused major disruptions at the airport leaving more than 140,000 passengers stranded and affecting around 1,000 flights.

The airport was forced to shut down severally between December 19th and 21st.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman on Wednesday said: “The military capability has now been withdrawn from Gatwick.

“The Armed Forces stand ever-ready to assist should a request for support be received.”

The anti-drone software can jam communication between a drone and its operator and was deployed on a roof at Gatwick. It identifies and tracks targets by using four radars that give 360° detection, and has a range of several miles.

Police have confirmed that no arrests have been made in connection with the incident since the release of a couple -without charge- on December 23.

Crimestoppers is offering a reward of £50,000 for information. The organization said it had “passed on close to 30 pieces of information to law enforcement within the first 24 hours”.

Speaking to Sky News, Sussex Police Chief Giles York said: “It is established that the incident, which led to widespread travel disruption, was caused by numerous instances of illegal drone activity at the site between 19 and 21 December … Police, supported by a range of partner agencies and working closely with Gatwick Airport, are currently examining relevant sightings by 115 witnesses — 93 from credible witnesses, people used to working in the busy airport environment, including a pilot, airport staff and police officers.

“This includes further information generated as a result of a public appeal for information and more than 1,000 house to house inquiries.”

Constable York said some of the spotted drones may have belonged to the Police and caused confusion.

By Airport Pickups London