London airports Heathrow and Gatwick have confirmed they are planning to spend millions to acquire and install ‘military-grade anti-drone apparatus’, while Scotland’s Edinburgh Airport is also taking additional precautionary measures to combat rogue drone incursions.
Two people were arrested after an incident at London Gatwick in December which brought airport operations to a halt, delaying thousands of passengers. The two people were quickly released, and authorities have yet to make further arrests.
Neither airport indicated which technology they plan to deploy, but do admit that it will provide a similar level of protection to what the British Army deployed in December at the London airport.
That system was reportedly manufactured by Israeli defense contractor Rafael, which allows operators to jam a drone’s radio signals and allow it to land safely.
According to the BBC, the British military has since removed its equipment from Gatwick.
“The incident has sparked a larger conversation about the threat that consumer drones pose to the country’s infrastructure — mere sightings of a drone (which weren’t photographed, and which authorities say might not have existed) was enough to shut down a major transportation hub for several days,” reported The Verge technology website.
Edinburgh meanwhile has also indicated that it plans to take its own precautions with foot patrols and expand some no-fly zones surrounding the airport.