'Military capability' at Gatwick airport.
UK

Drone Disruption: 'Military Capability' Removed From Gatwick Airport

Reported sightings of drones flying over the airport affected more than 140,000 passengers over three days.

'Military capability' at Gatwick airport.

The military equipment deployed to stop drones disrupting flights at Gatwick Airport has been withdrawn, the Ministry of Defence said.

Reported drone sightings at the airport caused mass disruptions in the run-up to Christmas, with the British Army brought in to help bring an end to the chaos. 

Between 19-21 December, Gatwick, the UK's second busiest airport, was repeatedly forced to close due to reported drone sightings.

Around 1,000 flights and 140,000 people were affected with the airport reopening on December 21.

An MOD spokesman said: "The military capability has now been withdrawn from Gatwick.

"The Armed Forces stand ever-ready to assist should a request for support be received."

Gatwick Airport during the drone chaos.
Gatwick Airport during the drone chaos.

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

The anti-drone capability 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 to find and track targets.

Gatwick Airport during the drone disruption.
Gatwick Airport during the drone disruption.

Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York said last week the police received 115 reports of drone sightings in the area. 

He confirmed 93 of those came from "credible people", including a pilot and airport staff.

Chief Constable York admitted some drone reports may have involved the police's own craft but underlined that he is "absolutely certain" a drone was flying near the airport's runways during the three-day period of disruption.