Gatwick airport drone chaos Man 47 and woman 54 arrested in Crawley

It can also jam communications between the drone and its operator, enabling authorities to take control of and land the drone.The crisis has developed into a political row, with the Government being accused of failing to approve cutting-edge technology.Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, said: “This is an entirely new kind of threat and we’re going to have to move very quickly.”One of the things I intend to do very quickly indeed is convene discussions across all our airports. There are some systems now beginning to be introduced in some airports across the world that can have some impact.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. ​A man and a woman have been arrested in connection with the “criminal use of drones”  which sparked chaos for three days at Gatwick Airport.Sussex police said the 47-year-old man and 54-year-old woman, both from Crawley, were arrested in the town on suspicion of disrupting services of civil aviation aerodrome to endanger or likely to endanger safety of operations or persons.They remained in custody on Saturday afternoon.The arrests came as passengers braced for further disruption while the airport tried to recover from the turmoil. Sussex Police said the people were arrested in the Gatwick area just after 10pm on Friday night.Superintendent James Collis of Sussex Police said: “Our investigations are still ongoing, and our activities at the airport continue to build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions from drones by deploying a range of tactics.”We continue to urge the public, passengers and the wider community around Gatwick to be vigilant and support us by contacting us immediately if they believe they have any information that can help us in bringing those responsible to justice.”The arrests we have made this evening are a result of our determination to keep the public safe from harm, every line of inquiry will remain open to us until we are confident that we have mitigated further threats to the safety of passengers.” Detectives were  understood to have drawn up a shortlist of potential culprits after the pilot gave vital clues away by audaciously flying the drone right up to the air traffic control tower.Drone ‘buzzed’ the towerIn a move known as “buzzing the tower”, it emerged the perpetrator had taunted airport staff by circling the drone around the building and flashing its lights, an industry source told The Telegraph.A detailed description of the drone, provided by witnesses, meant experts were able to determine the make and model of the machine, which is only available from a handful of locations in the UK.The heightened level of panic around the airport was demonstrated on Friday  evening when all flights had to be temporarily suspended after a drone was reportedly spotted in the air.Military equipment was used on Friday to stop further drone disruption while a range of tactics are in place if any unmanned aircraft are seen inside the perimeter.One piece of equipment believed to have been deployed at the airport is the Israeli-developed Drone Dome system, which can detect drones using radar. Show more Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.The arrests came after a witness said he saw a cyclist “frantically” packing away two drones away down a country lane near the airport.Paul Motts, 52, said he saw a man in his 30s wearing hi-vis clothing and crouching over a drone in a country lane near the West Sussex airport on Thursday. Mr Motts said the man had been trying to “get away as fast as he could” at the time Sussex Police combed the countryside to find the drone pilot.He told the Sun newspaper: “I was delivering a parcel and drove past a suspicious man in fluorescent cycling gear crouching over a large drone which was all lit up. It looked like he was packing the drones away. Two minutes later we turned around and came across him cycling away.”I expect he wanted to disassemble the drone as quickly as possible and get away as fast as he could.” The man had been standing over one 4ft drone and another 2ft device, Mr Motts reported. ‘Passengers should expect some delays’Early on Saturday, Gatwick said flights would be operating but warned of further disruption.”Our runway is open and we aim to run a full schedule on Saturday,” it said on the website. “Passengers should expect some delays and cancellations as we continue to recover our operations following three days of disruption and are advised to check with their airline before travelling to the airport.”A Gatwick spokesman said around 1,000 aircraft have been cancelled or diverted,  affecting approximately 140,000 passengers, since Wednesday night. The knock on effect of cancellations and delays was continuing to have an impact on Virgin Atlantic flights.Its first flight of the day, to St Lucia and Tobago, took off an hour late, and three more flights were delayed soon after.The 13:00 flight to Orlando has been delayed by two hours and the 12:15 to Cancun, Mexico is one hour behind schedule. At the check in desks, children were being distracted by free candy canes handed out by staff. Neil Martin, 48, from Ukfield, Sussex, who was travelling to Cancun with his wife and three daughters, was among those delayed. He said: “An hour delay after everything that’s happened is completely acceptable. I’m just glad we are going. Everyone has been really helpful so far and we’re looking forward to getting away.”EasyJet’s first 39 flights on Saturday all suffered delays, some by as much as nearly five hours. Norwegian have had six of their 25 flights delayed. The worst queues were in Gatwick’s south terminal, where Thomas Cook saw all eight of their flights delayed on Saturday morning.Lines of people continued to snake through the terminal and out into the train station ticket concourse. Tom Hawkins and his family arrived early for their flight to Fuerteventura. “We anticipated disruption so made sure to get here in good time,” he said. “Maybe they are short staffed after a busy few days, but I’m a lot more confident of getting away today than if I was travelling on Thursday.”Passengers have been told to check their insurance policies to ensure they were covered for “disruption” incidents and also to check how much they were covered for.Some cheaper policies will only reimburse for medical emergencies and even those with disruption cover might have modest limits that do not cover the full cost of the incident.Prior to the arrests, police had suggested the net was closing in on the drone attacker, confirming they were investigating “persons of interest”.

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