Gatwick drones pair ‘no longer suspects’

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Flights were suspended for more than 36 hours when a drone was first spotted

A man and woman arrested in connection with drone sightings that grounded flights at Gatwick Airport have been released without charge.

The 47-year-old man and 54-year-old woman, from Crawley, West Sussex, were arrested on Friday night on suspicion of “the criminal use of drones”.

Sussex Police said the pair were no longer suspects.

Meanwhile, Det Ch Supt Jason Tingley told Sky News officers had found a damaged drone near the airport.

He said they would be working with the “forensic opportunities that the drone presents”.

Flights were suspended for more than 36 hours when a device was first spotted close to the runway on Wednesday night.

Det Ch Supt Tingley said the arrested man and woman had “fully co-operated” with inquiries and he was “satisfied that they are no longer suspects in the drone incidents at Gatwick”.

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“Our inquiry continues at a pace to locate those responsible for the drone incursions, and we continue to actively follow lines of investigation.”

Anti-drone equipment at Gatwick
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES Image captionThe airport was forced to shut its runway for spells on Wednesday and Friday and for all of Thursday

Gatwick Airport Limited has now offered a £50,000 reward through Crimestoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for disrupting flights.

About 1,000 aircraft were either cancelled or diverted, affecting about 140,000 passengers, during three days of disruption.

On Sunday the airport said it was operating as normal but there had been “some knock on effect”. Passengers have been urged to check with their airline for the latest information.

Authorities finally regained control over the airfield early on Friday after the Army deployed unidentified military technology.

It is believed that the Israeli-developed Drone Dome system, which can jam communications between the drone and its operator, was used.

However, experts have said it does not enable the person responsible to be tracked down and captured.

John Murray, professor of robotics and autonomous systems at the University of Hull, said it could only “take the drone out of the sky”.

Gatwick Airport on Saturday
Image copyrightREUTERS Image captionPassengers have been able to board their flights as scheduled

 

 

Source: BBC

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