Economy

Gatwick and Heathrow buying anti-drone equipment

Gatwick and Heathrow buying anti-drone equipment

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Defence confirmed military equipment being used at Gatwick had now been withdrawn from the Sussex airport.

Between 19 and 21 December, the airport was repeatedly forced to close due to reported drone sightings. The airport's investment means that this military equipment has now been withdrawn.

British media said the military deployed technology similar to the Israeli-designed Drone Dome system, which can detect and disable a drone by jamming its communication frequencies.

But the Armed Forces were said to "stand ever-ready to assist should a request for support be received".

The system is said to have a range of several miles and uses four radars to give 360-degree detection to identify and track targets.

Transport Minister Chris Grayling met police, aviation and defense chiefs on Thursday to discuss the issue, according to The Times newspaper, which first reported the orders.

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Gatwick says it's already panic-spent a massive £5m on anti-drone tech to mitigate future attacks, although neither airport has said what particular brand or aerial protection solutions they're buying, lest someone work out how to hack them within, say, five minutes of being deployed atop the roof of the on-site fire station.

But Mr York added he was "absolutely certain" that a drone was flying near the runways during the three days of disruption.

No one has been charged and no credible drone has yet been found.

"I think the fact that we have found two drones so far as a result of this does show the extent of the search that has been carried out".

"Just a few months ago we would not even have dreamed of being able to acquire an unlimited licence in the London airports system for less than 20 times core earnings", stressed Vinci Airports President Nicholas Notebaert, alluding to Brexit uncertainty as a factor in the deal price. More than 120,000 people were affected over 36 hours of delays.