‘Military-grade' protection for major UK airports

The government has said that all major airports in the UK now have or will soon have military grade anti-drone equipment.

Following the recent sightings and chaos at Heathrow and Gatwick in the last few weeks, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said all commercial airports needed to invest in anti-drone technology as it would ‘not be right’ to ask the RAF to respond to similar incidents in future.

A system which can detect, track and ground the devices has been installed on the roof of Gatwick's South Terminal following December’s chaos, where more than 140,000 passengers were adversely affected during 36 hours of chaos, with 1,000 flights cancelled due to drone sightings.

Speaking on a visit to RAF Marham, Norfolk, Williamson said: "I think that everyone would be expecting all airports to be having this detection, and deterrence effect also, at all commercial airports in the future. It is a logical thing for them to be investing in."

The government is also working on ensuring that other critical infrastructure, such as prisons, power stations and military sites, also install the technology. It was recently announced that police would be given new powers to tackle the illegal use of drones.



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