Two local residents arrested over Gatwick drone disruption

Matters involving airlines and airline pilots.
Post Reply
Athol Terence
Silver 1 - Fewer than 50 posts
Silver 1 - Fewer than 50 posts
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:32 am

Two local residents arrested over Gatwick drone disruption

Post by Athol Terence » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Two residents of the town next to London Gatwick are under arrest in connection with the days-long disruption to London’s second airport, with police citing them in the usual style as ‘a 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman, both from Crawley.’ The charges are ‘suspicion of disrupting services of civil aviation aerodrome to endanger or likely to endanger safety of operations or persons.’

Superintendent James Collis from Sussex Police explained, “as part of our ongoing investigations into the criminal use of drones which has severely disrupted flights in and out of Gatwick Airport, Sussex Police made two arrests just after 22h00 on Friday 21 December. “Our investigations are still on-going and our activities at the airport continue to build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions from drones, by deploying a range of tactics.”

Police release two people arrested in Gatwick drone investigation
On Sunday 23 December British police released two people arrested in an inquiry into the illegal use of drones at London’s Gatwick Airport that crippled operations for three days last week without charge. “Both people have fully co-operated with our inquiries and I am satisfied that they are no longer suspects in the drone incidents at Gatwick” Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said on Sunday. The two were held after information was passed to the police by a member of the public, Tingley told Sky News. He said he was confident the arrests were justified.

He said authorities were continuing to actively follow lines of investigation to catch those responsible for the most disruptive incursions from unmanned aerial vehicles seen at any major airport. A damaged drone had been recovered a close to the perimeter of the airport, he said and it was being forensically examined, for example for clues about whether it was controlled remotely from afar or by somebody in the vicinity.

No group has claimed responsibility for the disruption, but we have kept an open mind throughout and that is still the case with regards to the motivation behind these incidents. The drones were spotted at Britain’s second-largest airport on Wednesday evening, forcing it to close its runway in the run up to Christmas. Every time the airport sought to reopen the runway on Thursday, the drones returned. Authorities finally regained control over the airfield after the army deployed unidentified military technology to guard the area, reassuring the airport that it was safe enough to fly. The drones caused misery for travellers, many sleeping on the airport floor as they searched for alternative routes to holidays and Christmas family gatherings.

On Sunday the airport said it was offering a reward of £50,000 (US$63,275) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. It said it was expecting to operate a full schedule of 785 flights on Sunday, although a small number of delays and cancellations could occur as the airport fully recovered.

Athol Terence
Silver 1 - Fewer than 50 posts
Silver 1 - Fewer than 50 posts
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:32 am

Re: Two local residents arrested over Gatwick drone disruption

Post by Athol Terence » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:54 am

The arrested couple were quickly released when there was no evidence against them - red faced police officers and let's wait for the civil claim for wrongful arrest.

The runway at London's Gatwick airport was closed barely a week before Christmas for what was termed 'a deliberate disruption of air travel using drones.' Despite numerous reports, and no small amount of hysteria from local and national officials as well as the media and innumerable instant drone experts, little evidence of actual drones exist, outside of some often questionable eyewitness testimony. In fact one 'drone' allegedly spotted turned out to be the red light on a tower crane at a building site.

Tens of thousands of people were inconvenienced by canceled flights, resulting in millions of dollars of losses and some awfully nasty drone stories.

darkroomsource
Silver 1 - Fewer than 50 posts
Silver 1 - Fewer than 50 posts
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:57 am

Re: Two local residents arrested over Gatwick drone disruption

Post by darkroomsource » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:34 am

But if they hadn't shut it down, and one aeroplane crashed as a result, then what?

Athol Terence
Silver 1 - Fewer than 50 posts
Silver 1 - Fewer than 50 posts
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:32 am

Re: Two local residents arrested over Gatwick drone disruption

Post by Athol Terence » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:31 am

Gatwick – A Vacuum of Silence
“In space, no-one can hear you scream”, but this wasn’t space, it was the UK post-Gatwick and there were plenty of opportunities to scream, but for some reason, none of the major stakeholders in the drone industry were doing much other than laying down and rolling over. Initially their response was as per their usual modus operandi, reminders about safety and the dangers of flying drones illegally. All good stuff for the media which lapped it up as soundbites to fit the narrative that Gatwick was the result of moronic drone users with no concern for public safety. This slotted neatly into their rapidly woven pieces which also included statements from commercial aviation advocates such as BALPA. The overall narrative was a condemnation of drone users, the need for tougher regulation, better education, and harsher penalties. Anything to stop the cause of the problem – drones.

As time went on it became apparent that many, if not all of the sightings were false positives. Some people reported the police drones, some people reported helicopters as drones and so on. The police were under increasing pressure, especially after arresting an innocent couple in a very public operation, which did nothing to try and shield their identities from the hungry media. There was a very brief window when public opinion was moving against the police’s handling of the matter. They were starting to question why Gatwick had closed. Was it an overreaction? What were the real dangers of drones? Were there even any drones?

So what does the future hold for the supposed drone industry in the UK? Undoubtedly tighter regulations, much less public support, greater hostility towards drone users and the inevitable ongoing bad press. Add to that another drone incident and the hobbyist market will become hugely contracted.
All the low hanging fruit has now been picked and there’s no visible sign that either the manufacturers or trade bodies are willing, or able, to apply the effort to grow the market. Without a growing market, there’s no industry, just a niche that a few people make a killing in and the rest just get by.

Post Reply