Gatwick chaos: Police 'could shoot down drone'

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33kft

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Police 'could shoot down' Gatwick drone

Sussex Police has received about 50 reports of a drone being flown around the airport since Wednesday evening.

Det Ch Supt Jason Tingley said shooting the drone was discounted earlier but is a "tactical option" and something which is being "continually reviewed".

The Army has been deployed, but it was confirmed the airport would remain shut into Friday.

"We have got some estimations around the size of the drone, what it looks like," Det Ch Supt Tingley said.

"We haven't yet identified the specific make and model of the drone. That will influence our tactical options."

Confirming the airport's closure on Thursday evening, chief operating officer Chris Woodroofe said: "We will review overnight whether there is any potential to open tomorrow."

Tens of thousands of passengers on several airlines have been disrupted by drones flying over the airport.
 

33kft

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Sussex Police said the drone activity was not terror-related but was a "deliberate act" of disruption, using "industrial specification" drones.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate agreed it was a "highly targeted activity" and added: "It cannot be right that drones can close a vital part of our national infrastructure in this way. This is obviously a relatively new technology and we need to think through together the right solutions to make sure it cannot happen again."

He is still "not in a position to say when it will be safe to reopen the airport".

About 110,000 passengers on 760 flights were due to fly on Thursday, but 633 flights were cancelled.​

What is particularly incredible for me here is that this started at 9PM on Wednesday GMT time, and they expect it to continue to disrupt airport operations throughout Friday. How can that be, surely these drones are not capable of 2-3 days worth of continuous operation? That is some targeted attack. Is this one of the most bizarre airport operation interruptions ever? It's already affected a huge number of flights
 

GoldCanyon340

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At least, if nothing else, this is preparation for a hard Brexit on 30th March 2019 :p
 

GoldCanyon340

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What is particularly incredible for me here is that this started at 9PM on Wednesday GMT time, and they expect it to continue to disrupt airport operations throughout Friday. How can that be, surely these drones are not capable of 2-3 days worth of continuous operation? That is some targeted attack. Is this one of the most bizarre airport operation interruptions ever? It's already affected a huge number of flights

IMO it appears to be a targeted attack with multiple drones.
 
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33kft

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IMO it appears to be a targeted attack with multiple drones.

Agreed, the reading I have done so far suggests they only need to appear every ~30-45 minutes to keep the airport shut. It's a minor investment for what must be millions in damages. This sort of attack asymmetry is certainly a problem for them.
 

GoldCanyon340

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What can be done to avoid this? A jamming device probably or even this laser system I've read about being developed by Boeing to melt drone batteries :eek:

Geofencing isn't an option.
 

33kft

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I wonder what the benefit is to this group. No doubt some people just like to watch the world burn, but it seems a high risk to them, it's clearly well planned and it would have cost some money to carry out, so they must represent some sort of political or business interest, surely?
 

docjames

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I'd have deleted could and replaced with with should.
 

amaroo

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Get ready for additional airport (security) charges to be passed thru to passengers...
 

moa999

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It seems the whole popup, disturb then hide away is making it difficult to prevent
 

Hvr

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If the police/army shoot the drone I wonder if there is potential for them to wait until the operator is holding it?

I imagine the ADG is involved here in Australia.
 

GoldCanyon340

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If the police/army shoot the drone I wonder if there is potential for them to wait until the operator is holding it?

There are 110,000 other people who will want to be in on that.
 

Denali

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Wouldn't a propelled net shot at the drone be better than shooting live ammo at a very small moving object? I've seen them on robot-wars (tech competition) , they exist.
 

33kft

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Speculation at this point, but some new information which may shed light on the intent behind this stunt:

The Telegraph cites a Whitehall source who suggests environmentalists could be responsible: “Eco-warriors blamed for drone attack that crippled Gatwick”
 

Daver6

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Wouldn't a propelled net shot at the drone be better than shooting live ammo at a very small moving object? I've seen them on robot-wars (tech competition) , they exist.

Would be pretty difficult to hit a moving target at distance using this method. From any distance the operator would see the net coming and drones are very manoeuvrable.

Can't imagine jamming is an option either. Doing so would also disrupt wifi at the airport and any homes near the airport.
 

ajd

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Speculation at this point, but some new information which may shed light on the intent behind this stunt:

The Telegraph cites a Whitehall source who suggests environmentalists could be responsible: “Eco-warriors blamed for drone attack that crippled Gatwick”

If it turns out that it's an environmental group, presumably advocating for causes that I'm actually very sympathetic to (yeah, it's true, the aviation industry has a whole bunch of environmental impacts we need to be talking about)... I can't think of a better way to get people to notice, but I also can't think of a worse way to convince people to come to your side.

I seriously hope it's not that, but who knows.
 

serfty

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To 'shoot it down' would make it hard to trace the source I guess.
 
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