Whilst I’m totally against banning private ownership of drones you buy off the shelf, these things have evolved from being just toys to aerial vehicles and should fall under some regulator with the owner having to hold a license which is presented prior to purchase. The ones you get out of big department stores, fine, but the kind of kit they use to film aerial shots in professional media that are capaple of greater altitude and flying time, you have to submit to a governing body.
Mine is capable of high altitudes and has, with the right equipment, a range of 10 kilometres. I bought it from John Lewis.
Professional drone users already have to have a license.
If it’s some idiots messing around (as opposed to something more sinister) a £10,000 bounty ought to flush them out quickly:
I know this comment will probably cause outrage as well, but the Police are considering shooting them down if they fly over an airport & Ive got to say I agree. regardless of who this person/persons are they need to be dealt with obviously, but it’s catching them isn’t it? & in the meantime they are laughing at the authorities. If it is shot down or captured ( there has been something developed to catch them effectively, was on the TV in the week, then it would wipe the smug smile right off their face.
Unfortunately, shooting down the drone is difficult (small fast moving target), and firing bullets into the sky is dangerous:
Yes I know it isn’t ideal. But I think it was on the One Show, that 2 young men had invented a drone catcher that could be used safely & effectively. I’m not sure if it’s actually licensed yet though to be used.
There are a number of ways of catching drones. Holland used eagles, the US uses guns (well they would) other countries us a net deployment drone. Easiest way is just to crash ontuer from into it if safe to do so.
Best way is to jail these people for a long time as a deterrent.
A hunting-calibre bullet would pose a risk, but shotgun pellets are relatively harmless if they fall to the ground with no-one underneath their path of flight. If managed properly it’d be no different to a clay pigeon shoot.
The drone was flying at or over a thousand feet. Shotgun wouldn’t work further than a hundred feet.
If a drone was shot at and slightly damaged, it may go into automatic ‘return to take off position’ mode. That will be in a straight point a to point b route. Depending on the model, the operator may not be able to override this, and it could fly over/into something or someone, like a motor way or busy road, and cause dreadful damage and loss of life.
Whoever has done this, needs the most severe punishment, I.e 10 years without parole, but they will probably be let off with community service because they come from a disadvantaged background…
I suspect the authorities have ways to deal with drones that they are not telling us about, which is how they managed to track down the suspects.
Certainly in an area like Gatwick, when there are no planes in the sky, you would expect that the radar coverage and accuracy would be able to track the path of the drone.
But they must be willing to shoot down drones that may contain explosives if they do not have technology that can prevent an invasions of vital airspace.
However, i have been thinking that such tactics may be useful to encourage a wider spread of approaches into City Airport. The odd strategically positioned drone within a few hundred feet of a fixed flight path… (only joking).
Unless they were very good and able to disable the tech DJI, the drone maker, could tell them exactly where it came from, where it has flown, how high etc.
The drone will probably have the owner’s fingerprints.
Unless they wore gloves but I don’t think this person is a criminal mastermind.
And just when it left the newscycle
While it is only a couple of bad apples in a big bin, if there is disruption on the scale of Gatwick (cost and people) then the authorities may have to react with regulation. It may be only a few people but if this becomes a regular event then surely the rights of airport operators, airlines and passengers will take precedence over a small (albeit growing) number of drone enthusiasts.
Yes I fear you may be right, and obvs it’s very important that our airports can’t be shut down like this.
Through regulation, the authorities will ensure it’s only outlaws that are able to own drones
I want to actually have it absolutely confirmed there was a drone. Not like Gatwick which may or may not have been a drone.
It’s worrying that they cite that registering online with the NAATs and taking the online test is something that may prevent this… Nobody is likely to register a drone then fly it over an airport…
Could registration happen at point of sale? I seem to recall once upon a time shops selling TVs took details for TV licensing.