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Old 24th December 2018, 11:26 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
IMV it is unfair to blame the police, security or the army. The responsibility lies 100% with the airport owners who have a duty to ensure the correct infrastructure is in place.
Of course, they should have had a drone detection and neutralisation system set up five years back. They are morons. But there are other morons involved, not least the police, who are (allegedly) investigating a serious crime. First they are unable to coordinate themselves over a period of three days to track these drones. Then they arrest a man and wife, search their home, broadcast their names to the media and almost immediately release them being as they had nothing to do with the incident. And they're not finished yet because next they announce that it's possible that the alleged drones do not actually exist and that no crime has been committed. Maybe we should get the monkeys at London Zoo to take a look; they're only half an hour away and they couldn't do a worse job.
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Old 24th December 2018, 11:29 AM   #162
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Didn't think the police released their names?
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Old 24th December 2018, 11:31 AM   #163
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I am astonished to learn there are no photographs of the drone. I'd like to know why Gatwick thought there was a drone in the air? I take it they are too small for the airport radar to show?
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Old 24th December 2018, 11:43 AM   #164
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I've had a drone for 4 years and all i seem to be able to do is crash it.
Bought a cheap one, I realized that it would not be all that easy to fly.
It sets in a box with some other under used photo gear.
But I'm not feeling too bad about it cause I knew some a-hole would do crap like this, buzz airports, heaven forbid strap a grenade to one and fly it into a packed football stadium.
Anything even remotely terrorist related and the GOV's will ban drones completely. So I'd be out a couple hundred bucs but others will be out 20k or more.
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Old 24th December 2018, 11:48 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I am astonished to learn there are no photographs of the drone. I'd like to know why Gatwick thought there was a drone in the air? I take it they are too small for the airport radar to show?
It depends on the wavelength and filtering.

Anything as small as a drone will be filtered out or won't even give a strong enough reflection to show against the background clutter.
The airport will be looking at processed and filtered displays, they won't be seeing a 'raw' plot.
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Old 24th December 2018, 12:33 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Didn't think the police released their names?
Apparently the police say they did not formally release the names but their names got into the press before charges were dropped, that's for certain. Maybe just another case of incompetence.
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Old 24th December 2018, 12:39 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I am astonished to learn there are no photographs of the drone. I'd like to know why Gatwick thought there was a drone in the air? I take it they are too small for the airport radar to show?
The media say more than 15 people, including half a dozen police officers, reported the drone, yet none were able to produce any evidence aside from one unsourced video of a black dot that I believe came from a member of the public. This is incomprehensible. I could have photographed the writing on the side of it using my five year old compact. The idea that an entire airport and police service could fanny around for three days and not provide one iota of evidence is unfathomable. Should I start believing in UFOs now? After all, the primary reason why I don't is the lack of evidence.
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Old 24th December 2018, 03:43 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
The media say more than 15 people, including half a dozen police officers, reported the drone, yet none were able to produce any evidence aside from one unsourced video of a black dot that I believe came from a member of the public. This is incomprehensible. I could have photographed the writing on the side of it using my five year old compact. The idea that an entire airport and police service could fanny around for three days and not provide one iota of evidence is unfathomable. Should I start believing in UFOs now? After all, the primary reason why I don't is the lack of evidence.
Inspectors Thomson and Thompson reporting Sir, we will dack down the trone, or rather track down the drone, Thomson, and have it out of the air pronto! You can rely on us Sir. On the case and on the job now! Just open the door and head out! After you Thomson, no after you Thompson, No no no, after you......

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Old 24th December 2018, 04:04 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
The Telegraph now have the headline "Was it all a hoax? Police defend Gatwick drone investigation as they refuse to rule out theory that it never existed"

To be fair, a hoax is one of the possibles and if after an investigation, if that is what happened, then it is what it is. Like the arrest of the couple, the police act on information supplied, which at the time may appear credible, but how accurate it is can only be established after completing an investigation.

This has been leapt upon by most of the media (and by certain people here, it seems) and misinterpreted. The only thing the police spokesman was saying was that since they have no cast-iron evidence that one or more drones actually was flying around in Gatwick's airspace on the days in question, they cannot entirely rule out the possibility that there were in fact no drones present.

But that is VERY different from "Police now think there might have never been any drones in the first place".

In fact, the police (and all other authority agencies involved in the investigation) very much do think - based on reasonable (and corroborating) evidence from numerous sources - that there was really one or more drones, and their investigations are entirely predicated on that belief.

As you were.......
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Old 24th December 2018, 04:08 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
The media say more than 15 people, including half a dozen police officers, reported the drone, yet none were able to produce any evidence aside from one unsourced video of a black dot that I believe came from a member of the public. This is incomprehensible. I could have photographed the writing on the side of it using my five year old compact. The idea that an entire airport and police service could fanny around for three days and not provide one iota of evidence is unfathomable. Should I start believing in UFOs now? After all, the primary reason why I don't is the lack of evidence.


Wow. You could have photographed the writing on the side of a drone flying probably a minimum of 1km away from you (do you have any idea how big the protected airspace perimiter of Gatwick Airport is?) and moving in unpredictable patterns at up to 15kph?

You must have one heck of a "five-year-old compact" with one heck of a super-professional-quality high-zoom lens and one heck of a steady hand.
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Old 24th December 2018, 04:08 PM   #171
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How do you explain no photos etc?
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Old 24th December 2018, 04:11 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
How do you explain no photos etc?

For exactly the same reason as it's effectively impossible for anyone without advanced professional photography gear (and even then, a good deal of luck and perseverence) to photograph, say, a golden eagle in flight at, say, a distance of 1.5km
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Old 24th December 2018, 04:50 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
For exactly the same reason as it's effectively impossible for anyone without advanced professional photography gear (and even then, a good deal of luck and perseverence) to photograph, say, a golden eagle in flight at, say, a distance of 1.5km
But this was at an airport which will have great optics, never mind all the plane spotters, and a place at which all the newspapers sent photographers to cover the shutdown. Many of them have lenses that could easily have resolved a Gant's arse from a mile and a half!
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Old 24th December 2018, 04:50 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
How do you explain no photos etc?
Probably not many folk wanting to look like they were taking a memento and due to this get to have a long unpleasant conversation with the police.

And the professional level plus talent and equipment that would take.

Take your pick.
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Old 24th December 2018, 04:51 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
For exactly the same reason as it's effectively impossible for anyone without advanced professional photography gear (and even then, a good deal of luck and perseverence) to photograph, say, a golden eagle in flight at, say, a distance of 1.5km
I personally think that is pushing it a bit.

We are talking the age of the iPhone and Galaxy and everyone taking video of anything both odd or boring.

People have been recording vague shapes in the sky since the 70's with crap equipment that makes modern phone cameras look like professional studio equipment
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Old 24th December 2018, 05:29 PM   #176
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Plane spotters? Reporters? Curious members of the public coming to have a look? Photographers employed by the police? Police surveillance equipment (CCTV vans etc)
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Old 25th December 2018, 12:20 AM   #177
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There were some videos. I saw two of them online, one at night and one during daylight. I don't have links, I'm afraid; but I saw them when they were posted on social media.
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Old 25th December 2018, 12:23 AM   #178
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This is the plot of the next Johnny English movie.
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Old 25th December 2018, 12:23 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Apparently the police say they did not formally release the names but their names got into the press before charges were dropped, that's for certain. Maybe just another case of incompetence.
Press paying someone in the police force to leak the names. There should be an investigation and charges.
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Old 25th December 2018, 12:23 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But this was at an airport which will have great optics, never mind all the plane spotters, and a place at which all the newspapers sent photographers to cover the shutdown. Many of them have lenses that could easily have resolved a Gant's arse from a mile and a half!
Kind of have to know exactly where it is in order to aim and take a picture of it.

My understanding is the drones were mostly spotted near or around the ends of the runways, which are relatively remote areas insofar as actual nearby people are concerned. There won't be passengers or very many staff in those locations; and simply documenting the physical existence of the drones with a camera in a vain attempt to satisfy future conspiracy theorists was not likely a priority of the police officers who were actively trying to spot them.
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Old 25th December 2018, 12:25 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Press paying someone in the police force to leak the names.
I'm going to propose it was more likely the names were given to the press by neighbors, friends or family if it wasn't the police.
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Old 25th December 2018, 02:09 AM   #182
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Sounds like a good movie

"Attack of the 100 killer airport drones, not actually there apart from a crashed one by the fence."
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Old 25th December 2018, 02:43 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
There were some videos. I saw two of them online, one at night and one during daylight. I don't have links, I'm afraid; but I saw them when they were posted on social media.
But no confirmation they were even at the airport
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Old 25th December 2018, 02:56 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
But no confirmation they were even at the airport
One of the videos, the night-time one, was taken by a passenger from the window of an airplane sitting at a gate, and it showed a light moving and stopping in a manner consistent with a quadcopter-type drone. The ground environment is unmistakably the exterior gate area of a terminal, so there's little question the video was taken at the airport.
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Old 25th December 2018, 03:35 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
One of the videos, the night-time one, was taken by a passenger from the window of an airplane sitting at a gate, and it showed a light moving and stopping in a manner consistent with a quadcopter-type drone. The ground environment is unmistakably the exterior gate area of a terminal, so there's little question the video was taken at the airport.
A link?
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Old 25th December 2018, 05:42 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
How do you explain no photos etc?
No one took any
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Old 25th December 2018, 07:44 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Out of focus. Therefore, clearly not a drone because it is Bigfoot.

Bigfoot is inherently out of focus and blurry.

If only we could get Bigfoot to stop drinking...
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Old 25th December 2018, 07:56 AM   #188
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So it turns out that the drone did exist: the drone within our hearts. Awwww.
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Old 26th December 2018, 02:07 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Of course, they should have had a drone detection and neutralisation system set up five years back. They are morons. But there are other morons involved, not least the police, who are (allegedly) investigating a serious crime. First they are unable to coordinate themselves over a period of three days to track these drones. Then they arrest a man and wife, search their home, broadcast their names to the media and almost immediately release them being as they had nothing to do with the incident. And they're not finished yet because next they announce that it's possible that the alleged drones do not actually exist and that no crime has been committed. Maybe we should get the monkeys at London Zoo to take a look; they're only half an hour away and they couldn't do a worse job.
To be fair, the police deny they leaked the names. It was the couple's relatives and friends who did that. His boss (ex father-in-law) was the one who did the blabbing to the press.
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Old 26th December 2018, 02:12 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Plane spotters? Reporters? Curious members of the public coming to have a look? Photographers employed by the police? Police surveillance equipment (CCTV vans etc)
Anyone who has tried to photograph what looks like a big plane in the sky or a huge pink moon will know how difficult it is for the average camera to pick up anything more than a small dot in the sky.
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Old 26th December 2018, 02:48 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
Wow. You could have photographed the writing on the side of a drone flying probably a minimum of 1km away from you (do you have any idea how big the protected airspace perimiter of Gatwick Airport is?) and moving in unpredictable patterns at up to 15kph?

You must have one heck of a "five-year-old compact" with one heck of a super-professional-quality high-zoom lens and one heck of a steady hand.
I'll throw down a rope. Grab ahold of it and I'll drag you out of the 1980s.
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Old 26th December 2018, 02:54 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Anyone who has tried to photograph what looks like a big plane in the sky or a huge pink moon will know how difficult it is for the average camera to pick up anything more than a small dot in the sky.
About a 3/4 mile away, photographed in bad light with a £580 bridge camera, hand-held (camera in one hand, dog lead in the other)

https://i.imgur.com/xlmUwFN.jpg

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Old 27th December 2018, 09:24 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
About a 3/4 mile away, photographed in bad light with a £580 bridge camera, hand-held (camera in one hand, dog lead in the other)

https://i.imgur.com/xlmUwFN.jpg
Nice. However, a drone is roughly 0.05% or less the size of this aricraft.

Most popular compact cameras cost less than £150, so your £600 model wouldn't be the norm for a passing tourist at Gatwick.

The police have various blurry pics and vidoes, which simply do not provide them with enough information about size, make and dimensions.
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Old 27th December 2018, 10:34 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Nice. However, a drone is roughly 0.05% or less the size of this aricraft.

Most popular compact cameras cost less than £150, so your £600 model wouldn't be the norm for a passing tourist at Gatwick.
It's not the tourists' job to document these things (although out of the tens of thousands of tourists sitting around waiting for their flights a great many would have superior cameras to mine). The point is this is an airport and as such the technology available would be, I'd imagine, far superior to a budget camera bought off Amazon, which is perfectly capable of recording a clear (although small) imagine of a drone a half mile away. The same goes for the police and their equipment. So did nobody really bother to even look for these drones, despite the entire place being in lock-down for three days? What on earth were they doing?
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Old 27th December 2018, 11:31 AM   #195
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Plane spotters go equipped to photograph flying objects at a considerable distance. Press photographers go equipped with whatever it takes to get the photo which will sell.

They had days to get the shot, yet nobody did. That's bizarre.
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Old 27th December 2018, 02:36 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Plane spotters go equipped to photograph flying objects at a considerable distance. Press photographers go equipped with whatever it takes to get the photo which will sell.

They had days to get the shot, yet nobody did. That's bizarre.
It's gone quiet, so whoever was responsible has not been stupid enough to fly a drone near Gatwick, when there are teams of army and RAF experts ready to catch them red-handed.

I wouldn't be surprised if the perp/s have an urge to brag about their misdeeds or repeat the hooliganism, and that will be his or her/their undoing.
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Old 27th December 2018, 03:18 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
It's gone quiet, so whoever was responsible has not been stupid enough to fly a drone near Gatwick, when there are teams of army and RAF experts ready to catch them red-handed.

I wouldn't be surprised if the perp/s have an urge to brag about their misdeeds or repeat the hooliganism, and that will be his or her/their undoing.

If there are any perps.
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Old 27th December 2018, 06:59 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
It's not the tourists' job to document these things (although out of the tens of thousands of tourists sitting around waiting for their flights a great many would have superior cameras to mine). The point is this is an airport and as such the technology available would be, I'd imagine, far superior to a budget camera bought off Amazon, which is perfectly capable of recording a clear (although small) imagine of a drone a half mile away. The same goes for the police and their equipment. So did nobody really bother to even look for these drones, despite the entire place being in lock-down for three days? What on earth were they doing?

I strongly suspect that what actually happened was along these lines:

1) Somebody (or some group of people) flew one or more drones within Gatwick protected airspace at some point on the evening/night of Thursday 20th December.

2) A significant number of people stated that they saw drone activity at this time. The last reported sighting, it should be noted, was at around 10pm on that Thursday night.

3) In response to these reported sightings, the airport management and other authorities were compelled to stop all air traffic while they investigated.

4) I suspect that whoever had been flying the drones did not fly them around Gatwick airspace any later than the night of Thursday 20th December.

5) However, once the alarm was raised, the combined authorities had to take all reasonable steps to ensure that there was no further drone activity before allowing flights to recommence. That had to happen immaterial of whether or not there were still reports of drones flying around on Friday daytime (there were no such reports, and it's highly likely that there were indeed no drones flying on Friday daytime or Saturday).

6) The assorted authorities only turned up in force from the middle of the night on Thursday/Friday, and the press only turned up in force from Friday morning. As I suggest above, it seems likely that whoever had been flying the drone(s) stopped flying them at some point on that Thursday/Friday night.

7) Therefore, there would not have been anything for either the authorities or the assembled press to be photographing - regardless of the quality of their equipment.

8) The only people who would have been in a position of photographing any drone activity (if I'm correct in my supposition about drone activity only taking place on Thursday evening/night) would have been unsophisticated bystanders. In the dusk and the dark.

9) Any plane spotters would, I contend, have gone home that Thursday well before the drone activity started. Not many planespotters do their work in the dusk and the dark.

10) As I suggest in this scenario, I think that any talk of ongoing drone activity through Friday daytime is very probably wrong. The last reported sighting was, as I say, at 10pm on Thursday night. The fact that the airport stayed closed for so long into Friday merely indicates extreme caution on the part of the authorities: they needed to effectively ensure that there was no further drone activity before allowing flights to recommence.
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Old 27th December 2018, 07:08 PM   #199
LondonJohn
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I would point out that IMO there are four - and only four - aspects of this whole incident which warrant justifiable criticism:

1) The apparent failure of Government and Parliament to make it a much more serious criminal offence to fly drones in airport airspace, and to provide airport operators with wider powers to deal with drone incursions.

2) The apparent failure of Gatwick Airport's management to put in place any sort of a) functioning drone-incursion alert system or b) structured approach to dealing with a drone incursion.

3) The potential length of time it took for the combined authorities to declare the Gatwick airspace safe for flights to resume (especially if all drone activity had indeed been confined only to Thursday evening and night time).

4) The apparent ineptitude and heavy-handedness of the police investigation to date into the alleged culprit(s).
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Old 28th December 2018, 08:07 AM   #200
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Shortly after the drone incident, just over 50% of the shares of Gatwick Aiirport were bought by French company, in effect, giving it control of the Airport (majority shareholder).

Obviously there would have been ongoing discussions.

But, coincidence?

If one was a conspiracy theorist you could suggest perhaps the French were to blame for the disruption, in a dastardly plan to bring the share price right down and thus, the cost of the shares.

Just sayin'.
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