Tag Archives: Drones

UK police had to resort to ‘military-grade’ technology to stop those airport drones

UK police had to resort to ‘military-grade’ technology to stop those airport dronesWell, you had to figure this kind of thing was coming. After the UK's second-busiest airport was forced to close in recent days because of rogue operators flying drones too close to the facility — which in turn forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights, leaving more than 100,000 holiday travelers stranded – police around the Gatwick Airport, south of London, had to sort to extreme measures to neutralize the drone threat. How extreme? Officials aren't being very specific (for obvious reasons) but it turns out the solution that allowed Gatwick to finally reopen included the deployment of "military-grade" technology.

According to the British newspaper The Independent, Gatwick's sole runway was reopened Friday morning "with a range or protection and surveillance measures reportedly put in place to prevent further chaos." Police also made some arrests, but confusion around this bizarre series of events only multiplied this weekend as British press reported that those arrested were released and that Sussex police were making house-to-house inquiries near where the drones had been previously spotted.

Meanwhile, The Independent interviewed a former British Army logistics officer who walked through some of the technologies likely being used to keep drones at bay and to allow the Gatwick Airport to resume normal operations. Those "military-grade" technologies (to use the newspaper's terminology) could include radar and signal jammers, though the newspaper also speculates that whoever was controlling these drones was probably not using a radio to do it. Longer-term, the paper points to laser technology as one solution.

Earlier this year, in fact, The Independent reported that Chinese researchers have been testing a handheld laser device that, when fired, could hit targets from as far as a half mile away. Likewise, the US military is working on laser technology that could bring down a drone.

What's made the Gatwick situation so newsworthy is the fact that this was, relatively speaking, an unsophisticated attack. We use the word 'attack,' because there are indications this was definitely deliberate. According to a CNN report, Sussex police superintendent Justin Burtenshaw told the UK Press Association that "Each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears. When we look to reopen the airfield, the drone reappears." So, it was clearly purposeful.

It was also reportedly the first time an airport anywhere in the world has been forced to temporarily halt operations because of drones flying too close. But, again, it was just some people flying drones. Imagine what kind of damage, and how much could be ground to halt, if a sophisticated hacker were trying to do the same thing.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

After Gatwick chaos, UK minister says detection systems can combat drones

After Gatwick chaos, UK minister says detection systems can combat drones“I can say that we are able to now deploy detection systems throughout the UK to combat this (drone) threat,” Wallace said in a tweet bit.ly/2QQO72E. Three days of drone sightings caused chaos at Britain’s second busiest airport, thought to be the most disruptive incident of its kind, revealing a vulnerability that will be scrutinized by security forces and airport operators worldwide.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Gatwick airport reopens after 2 arrested for using drones to disrupt flights

Gatwick airport reopens after 2 arrested for using drones to disrupt flightsA 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman have been arrested in connection with drones that forced the shutdown of London's Gatwick airport for two days, affecting 140,000 holiday travelers.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Pair freed without charge in London airport drones probe

Pair freed without charge in London airport drones probeA man and a woman arrested over the drone disruption that brought Christmas getaway flights to a standstill at London’s Gatwick Airport were released without charge on Sunday, police said. A 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman from the town of Crawley, near Britain’s second-busiest airport, were arrested on Saturday. “Both people have fully co-operated with our enquiries and I am satisfied that they are no longer suspects in the drone incidents at Gatwick,” Sussex Police detective chief superintendent Jason Tingley said in a statement.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Police Arrest Two Over Drones After Gatwick Resumes Flights

Police Arrest Two Over Drones After Gatwick Resumes FlightsA 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman were arrested in Crawley on suspicion of disrupting aviation services to endanger or likely to endanger safety of operations, Sussex Police said in a statement, adding that police operations around the airport would continue. Flights from the airport south of London resumed at 6:20 p.m. Friday after another reported drone incursion caused a brief interruption. It is also a focus for long-distance leisure flights by British Airways.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

London Gatwick Turns to Army as Drones Ruin Holiday Getaway

London Gatwick Turns to Army as Drones Ruin Holiday GetawayGatwick Chief Executive Officer Stewart Wingate said the criminal intrusions involving two drones were “highly targeted” and designed to close the airport with maximum disruption in the run up to Christmas. With night falling and authorities apparently no closer to finding the perpetrators, U.K. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that military assistance would be provided to help end the disruption, the worst at a London airport since blizzards closed the city’s main Heathrow hub in 2013. “Obviously once it gets dark you cannot physically see a drone, which will make it more difficult, but the police are out in force trying to spot it,” Gatwick spokeswoman Mandy Armstrong said by phone.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Explainer: How drones caused travel chaos at Britain's Gatwick airport

Explainer: How drones caused travel chaos at Britain's Gatwick airportBy midday on Thursday, Gatwick was describing the “ongoing drone activity around the airfield” as “what appears to be a deliberate attempt” to disrupt flights. In the afternoon, the army was drafted in to Gatwick to deploy “specialist equipment”, the Ministry of Defence said. On Friday morning, Gatwick reopened for a limited number of flights, though warned there would be continued disruption.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Rogue Drones Have Shut Down Britain's Second Busiest Airport. Here's What to Know

Rogue Drones Have Shut Down Britain's Second Busiest Airport. Here's What to KnowOfficials said Thursday morning that police were still trying to bring the drones down over Gatwick airport, near London.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Drones paralyze British airport, grounding Christmas travelers

Drones paralyze British airport, grounding Christmas travelersAs thousands of passengers waited at Gatwick Airport, south of London, police hunted unsuccessfully for the operators of the large drones which reappeared near the airfield every time the airport tried to reopen the runway. “The assessment earlier on today was that we wouldn’t be using firearms,” Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said late on Thursday. “This is continually reviewed so you will know and have seen that we have firearm officers deployed.” Europe’s air traffic control agency Eurocontrol said the airport would remain closed until 0600 GMT on Friday.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

FBI chief says threats from drones to U.S. 'steadily escalating'

FBI chief says threats from drones to U.S. 'steadily escalating'FBI director Christopher Wray told a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday that the threat from drones “is steadily escalating” even as Congress gives agencies new tools to address threats. Wray made his comments days after President Donald Trump signed into law legislation that gives the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI new powers to disable or destroy drones that pose a threat to government facilities.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines