Workers first saw the drones at Gatwick Airport on Wednesday, December 19, as they were flying over an airport perimeter fence. By 9PM, the unmanned vehicles flew into the runway area.
The runway was immediately closed.
By 3AM, after no more drones were seen, the runway was reopened.
And, 45 minutes later, there they were again.
Well into Thursday night, drones kept coming back.
Over 800 flights were canceled, stranding more than 150,000 people. The government ordered the army to use military equipment to secure the site.
Authorities still have no idea who is responsible.
it’s not the first time
Airports in Chengdu, China; Dubai, the United Arab Emirates; and Ottawa have also had to shut down because of drone sightings.
In October 2017, a drone collided with a commercial aircraft in Canada, striking one of the plane’s wings. The plane was damaged but able to land safely.
Technology companies have developed several anti-drone defense systems, but they are relatively new, and airports and government officials are still–for the most part–considering their options.
According to Oleg Vornik, CEO of Droneshield, that specializes in detection and disruption technologies, “drones represent a major threat to aircraft and can easily create disruption as witnessed at Gatwick. We expect copy-cats to continue driving such incidents going forward.”
Facebook employees insisted that the tech company sever its contractual ties with the US military, where AI (artificial intelligence) was being developed for use with drones in order to make them more precise when they kill. Should we use drones to kill? Let’s take a look at the debate.
And, what are drones? Geek out on some basic information (that you really should know…).