Gatwick and Heathrow spend millions on anti-drone equipment after Christmas travel chaos

 
James Warrington
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Drone in Flight
Military equipment was installed at Gatwick in December to prevent disruption caused by drones (Source: Getty)

Gatwick and Heathrow are spending millions of pounds on anti-drone technology after drones disrupted thousands of passengers in the run-up to Christmas.


The airports, which are the two busiest in the UK, have invested in military-grade equipment designed to jam drone signals.

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A spokesperson for Gatwick said the airport has spent “several million pounds” on the technology, but did not disclose details about the equipment.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “The safety of our passengers and colleagues remains our top priority.


“Working closely with relevant authorities including the Met Police, we are constantly looking at the best technologies that help remove the threat of drones.”

Military equipment was installed at Gatwick in December to prevent disruption caused by drones flying over the airfield.

The airport was closed repeatedly between 19 and 21 December after numerous drone sightings, grounding more than 1,000 flights and wreaking havoc for hundreds of thousands of passengers.

Yesterday the Ministry of Defence (MoD) the anti-drone equipment has now been removed from Gatwick.

Last month two people from Crawley were arrested on suspicion of “criminal use of a drone” and held for 36 hours before being released without charge.

Sussex Police are still searching for the perpetrators of the travel chaos before Christmas. Gatwick has offered a £50,000 reward for any information leading to convictions.

Read more: Delays at UK's busiest airports cost business passengers £500m