A man and a woman have been arrested in connection with the “criminal use of drones” which caused widespread disruption at Gatwick Airport.More than 100,000 passengers were left stranded at the UK’s second biggest airport after flights were grounded following a number of drone sightings near the airfield from Wednesday night.Sussex Police said the two were detained by officers “in the Gatwick area” at around 10pm on Friday.Meanwhile, Gatwick Airport said on Saturday morning that the runway is open but passengers are urged to check with their airline before travelling.The airport fully reopened on Friday, with police saying “proactive investigations” are ongoing.A handful of flights due to arrive into Gatwick on Saturday have been cancelled, according to the airport’s website, including an easyJet service from Milan-Linate and a TUI flight from Bridgetown, Barbados.
Gatwick drone arrests: Two people have been arrested by cops probing the "criminal use of drones" that caused chaos at Gatwick Airport for 100,000-plus air travelers this week.No Russian vote hack: The US Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, concluded on Friday that no hackers "prevented voting, changed vote counts, or disrupted the ability to tally votes," although Russia, China and Iran "conducted influence activities and messaging campaigns ... to promote their strategic interests."Amazon Alexa all bot and bothered: Since 2016, Amazon has dangled hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes in front of computer-science students to encourage them to develop conversational bots, accessed via its voice-controlled Alexa personal assistant.When people want to talk to one of these experimental chat bots, they ask Alexa to put them in touch with the software, the bot is loaded up, Alexa takes a back seat, and the chat code starts nattering with the user.Well, it's emerged those bots have been caught telling folks to "kill your foster parents," discussed sex acts, and so on, after the software went awry.Worse, hackers in China were able to break into one of the students' bots and extract transcripts of people's conversations sans usernames, according to Reuters.
These have been around for some time now, and the rise of consumer drones has been rapid.These compact aircraft have also been hitting the headlines more often, with the likes of concerns being aired by the FBI over in the US – more on that later – and of course most recently, the rogue drone that brought Gatwick airport to a grinding halt for a day and a half.So, what exactly are the rules so far?Before we get to the rules, it's worth pointing out what a drone actually is.'Drone' has become a bit of a blanket term that covers a lot of different aircraft types, but what they have in common is that they are unmanned.They fly using rotor blades, like a helicopter, and the majority of the civilian drones out there are quadcopters with four sets of blades, which aids stability.
Flights have resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport after a full day of cancellations yesterday due to a mysterious drone that was spotted repeatedly in the area.The military was even called out to search for the drone operator, but they still have no idea who’s behind this deliberate disruption of a major transportation hub.It’s still unclear what kind of drone or drones may be the problem, though the local police have announced that the “devices used are of an industrial specification.” No clear pictures of the drone have been released.It’s an international issue,” Gatwick’s chief executive Chris Woodroofe said today after flights resumed, according to the Guardian.The decision that it was safe to resume flying was taken after police, Army and RAF specialists lined up an armory of counter measures.They included a hi-tech tracking system of the kind used in the struggle to liberate Mosul in northern Iraq, deployed in tandem with “drone killer” equipment that can disable them.
The re-opening of the runaway will allow for the Christmas getaway for 100,000 weary passengers, but the airport has warned that it was very likely to be knock-on delays and cancellations of flights.Police were engaged in a game of cat and mouth with the unidentified drone operators, as very time attempts were made to re-open the runaway, the drones appeared once again.The complete shutdown of Gatwick airport during the busy Christmas period had political implications with the Prime Minister Theresa May saying she feels for Gatwick passengers and said that the activity was illegal and those caught could face five years in prison.In the UK it is illegal to fly a drone in the vicinity (1 kilometre) of an airport, as well as fly drones “beyond the direct unaided line of sight”.Read More: Can you fly drones in London?The tense stand-off with the rogue drone operator has ended however after Gatwick airport drafted in military personnel and technology.
Strange tale leaves 120k bods displaced during Xmas rushLondon Gatwick Airport has reopened after closing for more than a day due to a seemingly deliberate drone disruption ploy – but police still haven't caught the perpetrators.The errant drones, which are of an unknown make and model according to Sussex Police, were being flown near enough to Gatwick's runway to trigger a full shutdown of the airport.While police eventually did not rule out shooting down the drones, El Reg has a handy guide here to all the immediate answers bubbling up in people's heads about how to stop the devices.It appears more than one craft was being flown at intervals from different locations, just often enough to keep the airport closed down.Police reported that they had had 50 sightings of the drones in the last day alone.
(Reuters) — London’s Gatwick Airport reopened on Friday after a mystery saboteur wrought 36 hours of travel chaos for more than 100,000 Christmas travelers by using drones to play cat-and-mouse with police snipers and the army.After the biggest disruption at Gatwick, Britain’s second busiest airport, since a volcanic ash cloud in 2010, Gatwick said around 700 planes were due to take off on Friday, although there would still be delays and cancellations.“This kind of incident is unprecedented anywhere in the world.”The motivation of the drone operator, or operators, was unclear.Gatwick’s drone nightmare is thought to be the most disruptive yet at a major airport and indicates a new vulnerability that will be scrutinized by security forces and airport operators across the world.Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said they were keeping an open mind about who was responsible.
In what appears to be the first intentional use of drones to disrupt civil aviation, continued sightings of two remotely piloted aircraft flying over and around the airfield at London's Gatwick Airport starting the evening of December 19 have forced the airport to remain closed to flights for over a day.In a letter posted to Gatwick's website, Gatwick Airport's CEO called the continued drone activity "a highly targeted activity which has been designed to close the airport and bring maximum disruption in the run up to Christmas."He also said the airport is cooperating with law enforcement to end the "criminal activity."As of 7:00pm London time on Thursday, Gatwick's runway was still unavailable for takeoffs and landings "because of continued drone sightings," the airport announced, and some airlines have cancelled all flights until further notice."We apologize to all of our passengers who are impacted today, but the safety of our passengers and all staff is our priority," an airport spokesperson said.Drone sightings have been a safety concern around London's airports for some time.
Risk of causing even more embuggerance is high, we repeat: highComment As the Gatwick drones chaos rolls on, with the airport now set to reopen at 8pm UK time at the earliest*, many people have been asking a simple question: why the hell can't the authorities just shoot down the offending drones?If you're using a .308"/7.62mm rifle pointed upwards at 70 degrees, the dangerous zone in front of it where the bullet could land is up to four kilometres long.Current police issue rifles tend to fire .223"/5.56mm rounds, which can still travel up to 8,000ft (1.5 miles) high if fired at 70 degrees.Are the police going to evacuate a 2.5-mile strip of East Sussex so they can go all Dirty Harry on the drones?This is far more likely than using a rifle.
“We will continue to work with the Gatwick authorities in order to bring this to a close such that people will be able to get on to the travel that they were expecting over the Christmas.”Gatwick Airport has closed all runways and is telling incoming flights to redirect to suitable airports, after two drones were spotted in the airspace within 12 hours of each other.Police say they are being intentionally used to cause disruption.Signal blocking tools being trialled in prisons to stop inmates smuggling in contraband by drone are challenging to implement in airports for obvious reasons.Chaos has descended on the airport as the shut-down coincides with the busy Christmas travel period.Airport authorities at Gatwick have advised all airlines to cancel flights up to at least 9pm tonight, with reopening deadlines pushed back through the day.
One of the UK’s biggest airports has been shut down for more than 17 hours, after rogue drones were spotted over the runway.The sightings above Gatwick Airport, one of the airports serving London and the second largest in the UK, have forced air traffic controllers there to cancel all incoming and outgoing flights across all airlines.“We anticipate disruption to continue throughout the day and into tomorrow,” the airport said in a statement today.“Any passengers due to fly today or tomorrow should not set off for Gatwick without checking flight information with their airline.”Two drones were identified flying over the airfield at around 9pm local time on Wednesday, December 19.Multiple sightings followed, forcing the airport to suspend flights “while we investigate this alongside Sussex Police,” the local police force, it said in a statement.
This video of a drone colliding with a plane's wing helps explain why it decided to ground all planes despite the major disruption the precaution has caused:Researchers at the University of Dayton launched a 2.1 pound DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter at the wing of a Mooney M20 light aircraft.They fired the drone at 238 mph to see what happens when a drone hits a plane's wing at the kind of speeds that planes can fly at.They said the physics of these kind of impacts is poorly understood by both the aviation and the drone industry.Read More:Travelers had to sleep on floors and grounded planes for hours after rogue drones shut down major London airport just before ChristmasThe plane is smaller than a typical passenger jet, which would likely take less damage since it is significantly bigger.
Thousands of passengers at one of the UK’s busiest airports after drones were seen flying over Gatwick airport on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.In 2016 for example, a ‘drone‘ collided with an A320 passenger jet that was on final approach to London’s Heathrow Airport.But Gatwick it seems has no defences in place yet.Remember, in the UK it is illegal to fly a drone in the vicinity (1 kilometre) of an airport, as well as fly drones “beyond the direct unaided line of sight”.“Following reports of two drones flying over the Gatwick Airport airfield at around 9pm on Wednesday 19 December, and several further sightings since, our airfield remains closed for safety reasons,” it stated.“We are still investigating these alongside Sussex Police.”
One of the UK's busiest airports had to suspend or divert all flights after drones were seen over its airfield.The disruption at Gatwick Airport, which is 30 miles south of London and Britain's second busiest, started around 9 p.m. local time Wednesday after a pair of drones were spotted, according to the BBC.The runway remained closed until 3 a.m., but was shut down again 45 minutes later after "a further sighting of drones."It was still closed as of Thusday morning and police are hunting for the drones' operator, Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick's chief operating officer, told the BBC."There are no indications to suggest this is terror related," Sussex Police tweeted on Thursday, before seeking the public's help to identify the operator.It's illegal to fly a drone within 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) of an airport or airfield boundary, and you can't fly it above 120 meters (400 feet) because it increases the likelihood of an aircraft hitting it.
Photo by Thomas Ricker / The VergeGatwick airport, the UK’s second largest airport, was closed for most of Wednesday night and Thursday morning after it received reports of two drones flying nearby, reports The Guardian.The airport initially had its flights suspended at 9PM on Wednesday evening after the drones were spotted, and although it briefly reopened at 3am, it was forced to close once more 45 minutes later after the drone flights resumed.As of 9:15AM, Thursday morning, flights to and from the airport remained suspended.As well as preventing any flights from taking off, the suspension means that numerous inbound flights had to be diverted to other London-area airports including Luton, Heathrow and Stansted, while other flights were forced to land in Paris and Amsterdam.In total, 760 flights containing 110,000 passengers were due to either take off or land from Gatwick over the course of Thursday.
Christmas tradition of travel chaos continuesNo flights have left London's Gatwick Airport since just before 21:00 UTC last night after drones were apparently spotted over the airspace.Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick's chief operating officer, told the BBC's Today programme on Radio 4 this morning that 20 police units from two forces were hunting down the drone operator as "that is the way to disable the drone".Reg reporter Richard Speed, literally our man on the ground, is one of the 2,000 people whose flights have been unable to take off."Flight crew and cabin crew are also milling about.'We know as much as you do – no one is telling us anything'."
People can’t stop flying ‘em, whether they’re harmless hobbyists, police looking to expand their surveillance powers, criminals looking to evade them, corporate profiteers, musicians, or morons who violate airspace restrictions or interfere with emergency operations out of ignorance, recklessness, or outright malice.It’s that last category that is presumably the cause of a major disruption at Gatwick, according to Reuters, which reported that sightings of two drones flying over airways at the UK’s second-busiest airport grounded all flights for hours beginning late Wednesday evening:Flights at London’s Gatwick airport remained suspended early on Thursday, five hours after the UK’S second-busiest airport halted them to investigate reports of two drones flying over its airfield, inconveniencing passengers days before the Christmas holiday period.Planes were unable to depart, while a number of flights scheduled to land were diverted to other airports, Gatwick said in a statement.Passengers complained on Twitter that their flights had landed at London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and other cities.Other flights were sent to France and the Netherlands.
Mystery drone operator/s have grounded flights at the UK’s second largest airport, disrupting the travel plans of hundreds of thousands of people hoping to get away over the festive period.The BBC reports that Gatwick Airport’s runway has been shut since Wednesday night on safety grounds, after drones were spotted being flown repeatedly over the airfield.It says airlines have been advised to cancel all flights up to at least 16:00 GMT, with the airport saying the runway would not open “until it was safe to do so”.More than 20 police units are reported to be searching for the drone operator/s.The UK made amendments to existing legislation this year to make flying a drone within 1km of an airport illegal, after a planned drone bill got delayed.The safety-focused tweak to the law five months ago also restricted drone flight height to 400ft.
Flights at London’s Gatwick Airport are suspended after drones were seen flying over the runway, the BBC reports.The two drones were spotted hovering near the runway late on Wednesday night, causing flight cancellations and diversions.According to the BBC, some airlines rerouted their aircraft to Amsterdam and Paris, as well as other domestic UK airports, namely Cardiff, Luton, and Manchester.At the time of writing, flights to and from the airport are still suspended.According to Eurocontrol, the airport is expected to resume flights by 10AM UK time, although passengers can expect severe delays as the airport tries to resume normal service.In a statement posted to Twitter, the airport said: “We advise everyone flying from Gatwick or collecting someone from the airport on Thursday 20th December to check the status of their flight.”