36 hours of flight disruption and cancellations at Gatwick Airport were finally brought to an end earlier this month after the British Army deployed Israeli anti-drone technology.
In case you somehow missed one of the biggest drone stories of 2018, more than 140,000 passengers were delayed and some 1000 flights diverted or cancelled between December 19-21 this month after a drone or drones repeatedly flew through the Gatwick Airport grounds.
While the ordeal was underway the British Army brought in an expensive Israeli anti-drone system intended to prevent drones from flying into the area. Forbes reports that in August 2018, Britain had paid several million pounds for the Israeli produced Rafael Advanced Defense System’s Drone Dome – a system normally intended to defend airspace against hostile drones.
Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense System’s Drone Dome system
The technology works by pinpointing the location of unauthorised UAVs then jams the radio frequency which disables communication between the pilot and the UAV, making them unable to fly.
- British police report two drones found near the airport were not involved in the incident
- They have so far searched 26 sites in Gatwick’s surrounding area
- Sky News reports that British Police are investigating “relevant sightings” by 115 witnesses, including 93 from “credible witnesses” which includes pilots, airport staff and police officers.
- Despite the sophisticated technology deployed by the army, no suspects are in custody. Police don’t know the make or model of the drone.
- Gatwick Airport is still offering a £50,000 ($63,500 USD) reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible
- The motive of the person or people who flew the drones over the airport is still unknown
- Sussex police chief admits that some sightings may have been of police drones (now isn’t that a laugh?)
Some of you may be a little tired of this story already but given the massive international media attention that this story received, we feel it is important to keep you updated with the latest.