London airports to invest in anti-drone tech

07 January 2019 08:13

Significant disruption was caused at Gatwick before Christmas by drones

Significant disruption was caused at Gatwick before Christmas by drones

Anti-drone technology will be deployed at the UK's two busiest airports in response to the disruption caused before Christmas.

Gatwick and Heathrow are investing millions in equipment to prevent future disruption, it was confirmed this week.

A spokeswoman for Gatwick said the Sussex airport had spent several million pounds on new defences following the grounding of around 1,000 flights last month.

Between December 19 and 21, the airport was forced to close repeatedly due to drone sightings in and around the airfield, causing thousands of passengers to have their journeys disrupted.

Investing millions

The Army was brought in to help deal with the travel chaos and were not stood down until Wednesday.

A spokesman for Heathrow said they would also be investing millions in anti-drone technology, adding: "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."

Jam communications

The Israeli-developed Drone Dome system is believed to be among the technology used at the airport by the Army.

The anti-drone equipment can detect and jam communications between a drone and its operator and was deployed on a roof at Gatwick.

The system, which is said to have a range of several miles, uses four radars to give 360-degree detection in order to identify and track targets.

Gatwick and Heathrow have not disclosed the specific equipment they plan to deploy to counter the threat posed by drones.

If you're planning on flying out from Heathrow or Gatwick this year, make sure you are fully covered by checking out our travel insurance options.