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Old 20th December 2018, 01:42 PM   #41
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Yeah, I'd say a jammer is a better solution. Shotgun is just likely to be more expedient if you aren't specifically prepared
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Old 20th December 2018, 01:43 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A good guy with a jammer is probably sufficient. Though mounting the jammer on a drone and having it patrol the boundaries of the airspace might be the best approach. I'd want to look into ground stations and towers as well.

The military is already working on anti-drone countermeasures. There are already prototype anti-drone jamming guns on the civilian market.

I predict that in a few years, the UK will be leading the way in deploying military countermeasures as part of their airport security.
Drones, at least commercial drones, are very soft targets. I would suggest developing laser guns. All the technology already exists, so it is just a question of adaptation. It is very accurate and no bullets or other stuff comes back down if they miss. A few laser holes drilled right through a commercial drone is almost guaranteed to bring it down.

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Old 20th December 2018, 01:58 PM   #43
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The odd thing I found was that they kept people on the arriving flights; uptown 6 hours I believe. The only reason I can think for not allowing passengers to deplane, is concern that the drones were armed in some way e.g. with grenades.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:03 PM   #44
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This has been an hour's long ordeal. Did they leave or did the drones just hover this whole time?
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:06 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Drones, at least commercial drones, are very soft targets. I would suggest developing laser guns. All the technology already exists, so it is just a question of adaptation. It is very accurate and no bullets or other stuff comes back down if they miss. A few laser holes drilled right through a commercial drone is almost guaranteed to bring it down.
A laser seems even worse than a bullet. Especially if you're trying to bring down drones near a busy airport.

Again, jamming seems like the better solution. With lasers, a plane behind a drone gets a laser hole. With jammers, a plane behind a drone gets a temporary disruption in remote control and GPS signals. One of which the plane doesn't need at all, and the other of which the plane can almost certainly do without for extended periods of time.

Some work would have to be done, to make sure the jammer isn't going to interfere with the plane's own avionics.

And all the jammer technology also already exists, so it's just a question of adaptation, which has also already been answered: Jamming technology has already been adapted to the task of bringing down drones.

Last edited by theprestige; 20th December 2018 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:12 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
The odd thing I found was that they kept people on the arriving flights; uptown 6 hours I believe. The only reason I can think for not allowing passengers to deplane, is concern that the drones were armed in some way e.g. with grenades.
That, I think, is why they haven't been shot down, although I gather they suspect some kind of nerve agent rather than grenades. So I guess they think its Russia.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:13 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A laser seems even worse than a bullet. Especially if you're trying to bring down drones near a busy airport.

Again, jamming seems like the better solution. With lasers, a plane behind a drone gets a laser hole. With jammers, a plane behind a drone gets a temporary disruption in remote control and GPS signals. One of which the plane doesn't need at all, and the other of which the plane can almost certainly do without for extended periods of time.

Some work would have to be done, to make sure the jammer isn't going to interfere with the plane's own avionics.

And all the jammer technology also already exists, so it's just a question of adaptation, which has also already been answered: Jamming technology has already been adapted to the task of bringing down drones.
Seems like it would take 10 years to get testing and approval done to use a jammer near commercial aircraft in flight.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:14 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
The odd thing I found was that they kept people on the arriving flights; uptown 6 hours I believe. The only reason I can think for not allowing passengers to deplane, is concern that the drones were armed in some way e.g. with grenades.
Nowhere for them to deplane to, probably.

I speculate a communication gap of some sort. The airport could have shuffled some planes around, freed up some gates, rolled out stairs, etc. But that's additional effort and disruption. If the authorities think they'll have it all cleared up in half an hour or so, it's more expedient to just wait it out and then resume normal operations. And if the authorities keep saying, "just 30 minutes more, we promise", then an airport could easily end up waiting several hours without intending to.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:38 PM   #49
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It is so embarrassing I can't even watch the news any more. One of the most advanced nations on Earth is unable to prevent a plastic toy from flying about over an airport.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:40 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
It is so embarrassing I can't even watch the news any more. One of the most advanced nations on Earth is unable to prevent a plastic toy from flying about over an airport.
Wait till next March when you have wonderful, no deal Brexit. I'm sure you'll cope just fine with all those tailbacks from Dover and no food in the supermarkets.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:41 PM   #51
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They just need to clear the area underneath and shoot the things down, either from military aircraft or ground fire.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:48 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
Seems like it would take 10 years to get testing and approval done to use a jammer near commercial aircraft in flight.
Sure. I bet that's where we'll be in ten years, though. Sooner, if the problem gets much worse much more quickly.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:57 PM   #53
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With all the Brexit **** going on, I'm surprised no one has suggested a squadron of Spitfires over here. Them was the days....
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:01 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
They just need to clear the area underneath and shoot the things down, either from military aircraft or ground fire.
These things can be pretty cheap though. If you're organized and want to be disruptive, just get a bunch of them. One flies while the batteries recharge on the others. Don't need to fly all the time, a few minutes each hour might be enough to keep the planes grounded. One gets shot down, send another.

Some sort of electronic jamming might be the only solution, but I don't know enough to know if that jamming might also interfere with the normal operation of the airport as well.

A person could get three or four of these and keep the airport closed for a day for less than the cost of an international flight.

I have not seen how large or small these drones at this airport might be, or how high they are being detected, if they are getting them on radar or just by seeing and hearing them. Cheap tiny little toys might be enough to do the job and yet be disposable enough that they can just keep sending more for a while, assuming they've planned in advance.

ETA: I guess that's the question: Is this just a juvenile prank? One idiot doing it on a lark and other idiots spontaneously joining in? Or is this some sort of organized effort?

Last edited by crescent; 20th December 2018 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:04 PM   #55
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I get it that drones are small targets but do they really fly/manoeuvre so quickly a competent gunman couldn't shoot the thing out of the sky? I cannot believe that a couple of toys can shut down a major airport for so long, it's ridiculous.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:06 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
These things can be pretty cheap though. If you're organized and want to be disruptive, just get a bunch of them. One flies while the batteries recharge on the others. Don't need to fly all the time, a few minutes each hour might be enough to keep the planes grounded. One gets shot down, send another.

Some sort of electronic jamming might be the only solution, but I don't know enough to know if that jamming might also interfere with the normal operation of the airport as well.

A person could get three or four of these and keep the airport closed for a day for less than the cost of an international flight.

I have not seen how large or small these drones at this airport might be, or how high they are being detected, if they are getting them on radar or just by seeing and hearing them. Cheap tiny little toys might be enough to do the job and yet be disposable enough that they can just keep sending more for a while, assuming they've planned in advance.

ETA: I guess that's the question: Is this just a juvenile prank? One idiot doing it on a lark and other idiots spontaneously joining in? Or is this some sort of organized effort?
Surely it's not beyond the wit of man to see where they come from. Or, in this case, where they return to. Has anybody even looked? How can you even lose sight of a drone, they only travel at 50mph?
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:14 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
I get it that drones are small targets but do they really fly/manoeuvre so quickly a competent gunman couldn't shoot the thing out of the sky? I cannot believe that a couple of toys can shut down a major airport for so long, it's ridiculous.
Even a pretty large consumer-grade drone would have a surface area of less than 1000 cm2. The drone's overall dimensions might be bigger, but with the rotors mounted on booms, there is a lot of empty space that a bullet could pass through without causing harm.

How high are they - 30 meters? 300? Moving target that small at 200 meters, outside of birdshot range might be tricky, especially in a built up environment.

This seems like one of those scenarios that was kind of expected but not really planned for.

Originally Posted by baron View Post
Surely it's not beyond the wit of man to see where they come from. Or, in this case, where they return to. Has anybody even looked? How can you even lose sight of a drone, they only travel at 50mph?
That part I've been wondering about. Or, even if they can't jam it, can they figure out what frequency is controlling it and try to triangulate the source? Even if they can't catch the person, can't triangulate precisely enough to find a specific spot or building or such, a sudden large police presence in the general area might cause a person to shut down.

Last edited by crescent; 20th December 2018 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:18 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Or a pair of drones with a weighted net.
African or European drones?
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:20 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Surely it's not beyond the wit of man to see where they come from. Or, in this case, where they return to. Has anybody even looked? How can you even lose sight of a drone, they only travel at 50mph?
Yeah, hopefully that’s what the police and army are doing now and that the culprits will soon be shot in the head taken into custody.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:22 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
That part I've been wondering about. Or, even if they can't jam it, can they figure out what frequency is controlling it and try to triangulate the source? Even if they can't catch the person, can't triangulate precisely enough to find a specific spot or building or such, a sudden large police presence in the general area might cause a person to shut down.
It's a bizarre situation. Either the operation is being overseen by the cast of Airplane! or there's something we're not being told. Police helicopter cameras can pin-point a mouse from five miles away, in the dark, yet apparently observing an object the size of a mini-fridge hovering 200 yards away in broad daylight is too demanding.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:23 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Surely it's not beyond the wit of man to see where they come from. Or, in this case, where they return to. Has anybody even looked? How can you even lose sight of a drone, they only travel at 50mph?

It's insane something like this can happen. Although it doesn't really surprise me it's something our country hasn't really prepared for..
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:24 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Yeah, hopefully that’s what the police and army are doing now and that the culprits will soon be shot in the head taken into custody.
The trouble is the maximum sentence is five years, and I doubt they would get that as there has been no collision. The authorities have already ruled out terrorism (quite how, given that they have no knowledge whatsoever of the culprits or their motives, is unclear) so I'm unsure what else they could be charged with.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:27 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
How high are they - 30 meters? 300? Moving target that small at 200 meters, outside of birdshot range might be tricky, especially in a built up environment.
Gatwick isn't particularly built-up - more of the surrounding area is open fields, than buildings.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:29 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
The trouble is the maximum sentence is five years, and I doubt they would get that as there has been no collision. The authorities have already ruled out terrorism (quite how, given that they have no knowledge whatsoever of the culprits or their motives, is unclear) so I'm unsure what else they could be charged with.
I think the level of disruption and the degree of flagrancy would merit the maximum sentence, although the perpetrator/s could still cut it in half with a guilty plea.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:30 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
... Either the operation is being overseen by the cast of Airplane! or there's something we're not being told.
I was just starting to wonder about that. Seems there's a huge police operation in Stuttgart right now after 4 suspects were seen reconnoitring the airport.

I wonder if drones are a cover story, or only part of the story and something else is going on.


In any case, I'm pretty sure the world's supply of morons is sufficient to ensure copycats will wreck more people's Christmas travel plans, somewhere in the world.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:40 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
It's a bizarre situation. Either the operation is being overseen by the cast of Airplane! or there's something we're not being told. Police helicopter cameras can pin-point a mouse from five miles away, in the dark, yet apparently observing an object the size of a mini-fridge hovering 200 yards away in broad daylight is too demanding.
The drones don't have to be directly within the airport perimeter to pose a threat. The area is huge, built up in places, and the drones can take a break and pop up later. If 'activists' are the culprits they could be mobile, landing the drones in relatively quiet places, shoving them in a van, then moving on. That way local people would have little chance of usefully reporting drone activity. I doubt that this is the work of some stupid kid leaning out of his bedroom window.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:46 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
The drones don't have to be directly within the airport perimeter to pose a threat. The area is huge, built up in places, and the drones can take a break and pop up later. If 'activists' are the culprits they could be mobile, landing the drones in relatively quiet places, shoving them in a van, then moving on. That way local people would have little chance of usefully reporting drone activity. I doubt that this is the work of some stupid kid leaning out of his bedroom window.
Surely it still would not be difficult for helicopters to track them.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:51 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
African or European drones?
This brings to mind coconuts. Swallows dropping coconuts on the drones seems doable.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:54 PM   #69
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Fire hoses?

And could police at least fly their own drone to follow it home, to catch the bad guys? I don't think drones know if they're being followed, assuming you stay above them
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:59 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
These things can be pretty cheap though. If you're organized and want to be disruptive, just get a bunch of them. One flies while the batteries recharge on the others. Don't need to fly all the time, a few minutes each hour might be enough to keep the planes grounded. One gets shot down, send another.

Some sort of electronic jamming might be the only solution, but I don't know enough to know if that jamming might also interfere with the normal operation of the airport as well.

A person could get three or four of these and keep the airport closed for a day for less than the cost of an international flight.

I have not seen how large or small these drones at this airport might be, or how high they are being detected, if they are getting them on radar or just by seeing and hearing them. Cheap tiny little toys might be enough to do the job and yet be disposable enough that they can just keep sending more for a while, assuming they've planned in advance.

ETA: I guess that's the question: Is this just a juvenile prank? One idiot doing it on a lark and other idiots spontaneously joining in? Or is this some sort of organized effort?
If the last para is correct, I would want to see a hard investigation and 10years at hard labor for anyone involved.
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Old 20th December 2018, 04:02 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
The only way to stop a bad guy with a drone is a good guy with a drone.

“If I see someone with a drone on a plane...”
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Old 20th December 2018, 04:02 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Even a pretty large consumer-grade drone would have a surface area of less than 1000 cm2. The drone's overall dimensions might be bigger, but with the rotors mounted on booms, there is a lot of empty space that a bullet could pass through without causing harm.

How high are they - 30 meters? 300? Moving target that small at 200 meters, outside of birdshot range might be tricky, especially in a built up environment.

This seems like one of those scenarios that was kind of expected but not really planned for.



That part I've been wondering about. Or, even if they can't jam it, can they figure out what frequency is controlling it and try to triangulate the source? Even if they can't catch the person, can't triangulate precisely enough to find a specific spot or building or such, a sudden large police presence in the general area might cause a person to shut down.
Don't want them uncaught, they need to be imprisoned for a long time and picking oakum for 12 hours of the day at least.
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Old 20th December 2018, 04:03 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
“If I see someone with a drone on a plane...”
That reminds me: any robot snakes I make shall have eyelids.
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Old 20th December 2018, 04:09 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A laser seems even worse than a bullet. Especially if you're trying to bring down drones near a busy airport.

Again, jamming seems like the better solution. With lasers, a plane behind a drone gets a laser hole. With jammers, a plane behind a drone gets a temporary disruption in remote control and GPS signals. One of which the plane doesn't need at all, and the other of which the plane can almost certainly do without for extended periods of time.

Some work would have to be done, to make sure the jammer isn't going to interfere with the plane's own avionics.

And all the jammer technology also already exists, so it's just a question of adaptation, which has also already been answered: Jamming technology has already been adapted to the task of bringing down drones.
You don't even need to adapt anything.
Drone Jammers are available off the shelf.
Various militaries around the world are already deploying them. they are aware of the threat from cheap 'consumer' drones.
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Old 20th December 2018, 04:14 PM   #75
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US and UK militaries already have 'Drone Killers'
they are designed to disable commercial drones. They are aware of the threat.












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Old 20th December 2018, 05:20 PM   #76
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Every airport should have powerful cannons that shoot spheres of ice. That way they could smash drones and unwelcome planes from the sky, but leave no litter behind when the projectile melts.
Plus it would be the perfect murder weapon in countless police dramas.
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Old 20th December 2018, 05:28 PM   #77
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What if you have nothing to shoot at?

The drone(s) fly around for a bit. Then, after the airport shuts down, the operator lands the drone, and keeps mum. Police is looking, of course, but have nothing to go at. No drones flying around, no transmissions.

How long do you wait to re-open the airport? You have to wait and let the police (and military, or whoever) do their job to clear the incident. Takes time. That's what seems to be going on right now.

Quite effective procedure to shut down the airport for a day or so. Simple, and safe.

And, frankly, I don't see much that can be done against it.

Jammers? What else would they hit? There's a lot of wireless going on with planes and airports that you cannot jam.

Shoot at anything that flies? That's bound to hit something you don't intend at some point the more often you shoot. Europe has much higher population and infrastructure density than the US, even around airports.

Surveillance? Airports are large. Expensive and manpower intensive. And you still need to develop procedures how to handle incidents, and I doubt that these procedures can be done quickly and safely without shutting down the airport for some time – at which time the damage is done already, as the damage escalates through the whole air traffic in the area.

Armed patrols with anti-drone guns? Again, expensive and manpower-intensive, and if drone attacks are rare will be shut down for these reasons alone.

Of course jammers and guns wand whatnot are options that need to be employed to clear... but you cannot jam all the time (see above), and you cannot shoot all the time, so there's always bound to be some lag time and some shutdown. And an evil-minded, clever operator can abuse that.

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Old 20th December 2018, 06:06 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
I get it that drones are small targets but do they really fly/manoeuvre so quickly a competent gunman couldn't shoot the thing out of the sky? I cannot believe that a couple of toys can shut down a major airport for so long, it's ridiculous.
Depends on the drone.

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Old 20th December 2018, 06:21 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Every airport should have powerful cannons that shoot spheres of ice. That way they could smash drones and unwelcome planes from the sky, but leave no litter behind when the projectile melts.
I would suggest using the icy remains of aircraft sewage.
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Old 20th December 2018, 06:28 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
The odd thing I found was that they kept people on the arriving flights; uptown 6 hours I believe. The only reason I can think for not allowing passengers to deplane, is concern that the drones were armed in some way e.g. with grenades.
The explanation on the news is that this is because there were insufficient airport staff to screen arriving passengers. Technically, you are in no-man's-land until you pass border controls.
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