Police arrest man and woman for ‘criminal use of drones’ after attacking UK airport
UK police have arrested two people suspected to be behind the recent drone attacks at Gatwick Airport near London.
Sussex Police announced they have a man and a woman in custody in connection with the “criminal use of drones” which caused major disruption, bringing the busy airport to its knees.
The two suspects were held on Friday night after another day of chaos at the airport which saw dozens more flights canceled and passengers were thrown into chaos just days before Christmas.
Following the arrests, Sussex Police said in a statement: “As part of our ongoing investigations into the criminal use of drones which has severely disrupted flights in and out of Gatwick Airport, Sussex Police made two arrests just after 10 pm.
“Our investigations are still on-going, 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.”
More than 100,000 Christmas travelers were affected when hundreds of flights were grounded from Wednesday night to early on Friday.
Flights were temporarily suspended again on Friday evening after another drone was spotted near the airfield, according to Sky News.
Sussex Police said a man and woman were detained “in the Gatwick area” shortly after 10 pm on Friday.
The arrests were part of “ongoing investigations into the criminal use of drones which has severely disrupted flights in and out of Gatwick Airport,” Superintendent James Collis said in a statement.
He added that police are deploying tactics to “build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions from drones.”
A Gatwick Airport spokeswoman confirmed flights had resumed on Friday evening after being suspended for more than an hour when a drone was spotted at about 5.10pm.
Military measures in place meant it was safe to fly despite the “confirmed sighting,” the spokeswoman said.
Equipment deployed to stop further drone chaos is believed to be capable of jamming signals to the rogue devices as well as tracking them.
The airport faced a total shutdown on Thursday and part of Wednesday night when drones repeatedly violated its perimeter.
Some passengers described freezing conditions as they slept on benches or on the airport floor.
Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft offered a £10,000 reward for information that led to the arrest and charge of the drone operator.