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Military withdraws anti-drone equipment from Gatwick

Military grade equipment deployed at Gatwick to stop drones disrupting flights has been withdrawn.

The Army was called in to try to protect the airport after more than 1,000 flights were affected by multiple drone sightings between 19 and 21 December.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed that military hardware had been withdrawn from Gatwick but insisted that “the Armed Forces stand ever-ready to assist should a request for support be received”.

Among the devices believed to have been deployed is the Israeli-developed Drone Dome system.

Passengers wait at the North Terminal at London Gatwick Airport
The travel plans of tens of thousands of people were disrupted

It can detect and jam communications between a drone and its operator, has a range of several miles and uses four radars to give 360-degree detection in order to identify and track targets.

The pre-Christmas chaos caused by drone sightings affected the travel plans of around 140,000 people.

No one has been charged and no credible drone has been found, despite police looking into “relevant sightings” by 115 witnesses, including 93 from “credible witnesses” such as a pilot, airport staff and police officers.

A couple who were arrested and questioned for 36 hours in connection with the disruption were released without charge.

Paul Gait
Video: Gatwick couple: ‘We are receiving medical care’

Gatwick Airport is offering a £50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

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