Following the dramatic closure of Gatwick airport for the whole of Thursday, the British authorities are keen to hold somebody accountable. There’s just one small problem, however. Simple Flying has learnt that Sussex police have been forced to confirm that they may not have been a drone at all. This comes following the news that the two individuals who had previously been arrested on suspicion of the disruption. Confirming that the drone may not even exist is clearly a huge embarrassment for the force, however, a damaged drone has reportedly been retrieved from the perimeter of Gatwick Airport. Gatwick is reportedly arming themselves ready for copycat attacks while theories over the attacks motives have been floating about.
The Story So Far
Late on Wednesday Gatwick Airport was briefly closed after reports of a drone sighted near the runway. It seemed as though this would just be routine disruption, until, when the airport was poised to reopen, the drone was spotted again. It seemed as though a game of cat and mouse was afoot. Every time the airport was close to reopening, the drone would reappear. It became clear that the drone was not operated by some idiot flying recklessly and was, in fact, a targeted attack to disrupt thousands. The army was drafted in, and soon the drone strikes stopped. However, this has been seen by many as too little too late.Drones like these can be bought on the high street, and have the ability to fly up to 10,500ft. Photo: GoPro
Initially, it seemed as though Sussex Police were not prepared to deal with the incident unfolding with them. As such, the met police and the army were eventually drafted into the investigation. Two individuals were arrested as part of the investigation, however, both were released later with no charge. Gatwick Airport is now offering a £50,000 reward for information leading to a conviction regarding the incident through Crimestoppers. Additionally, Crimestoppers is offering a further £10,000 reward for information.
However, the story gets even worse. DCS Jason Tingley said there is “always a possibility that there may not have been any genuine drone activity in the first place”. He added that there were no videos or photos of the drone inside Gatwick Airport, confirming that there is “no available footage and [officers] are relying on witness accounts”. Finally, he added, “We are working with human beings saying they have seen something.”
To make the story even more confusing, a government source told the BBC that news that the drone may not exist was a “miscommunication by police”. The damaged drone seized from the airport perimeter is thought to have been brought down by the Israeli Drone Dome system, which “jam[s] communications between the drone and its operator”.
Were you affected by the disruption at Gatwick Airport? Do you think the whole incident could be a hoax? Let us know in the comments down below!