CONTINUING BREAKING NEWS: It’s a terrible example of what one bad actor can do. For the third day in a row, Gatwick Airport was forced to cancel hundreds of flights and ruin the holiday plans for more than 100,000 passengers – all due to the appearance of unauthorized drones on the runway. As of Friday morning Gatwick has reopened – but nobody knows for how long.
British authorities have indicated that they don’t suspect state actors of causing the shutdown, but are looking at the possibility of “highly organized crime” or, some speculate, environmental protestors.
In any case, the drone “attack” – while the drones weren’t weaponized, their mere presence was sufficient to shut down a significant piece of U.K. infrastructure – has caused a situation accurately described by many news outlets as “chaos.” Police, security services, and military personnel have been called in to help capture the drone operator: drone mitigation tools ranging from sophisticated technology to sniper rifles have been deployed, at untold cost to airlines and the British taxpayer.
Lorenz Meier, co-founder of Auterion, a European-based provider of an open-source operating system for drones, weighed in on the situation at Gatwick Airport and it’s affect on the burgeoning commercial drone industry.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.