The British Government is reportedly considering plans to deploy military-grade anti-drone equipment after an intrusion by illegal drones caused chaos at two of the busiest airports in the UK.
The proposed measures come after drone sightings at Gatwick Airport in December prompted the airport to halt operations for 36 hours and cancel almost 1,000 flights.
Heathrow Airport was also forced to suspend operations for almost an hour when a drone violated the airport’s airspace zone.
The government ordered its law enforcing agencies, including police, aviation and defence chiefs to cooperate with the airports to investigate the incidents and avoid any re-occurrence.
Heathrow and Gatwick have subsequently announced that they will acquire military-grade anti-drone equipment.
There are also plans to bestow additional powers to police to deal with the misuse of drones near airports.
Defence secretary Gavin Williamson told the BBC that all commercial airports are required to invest in anti-drone technology.
Plans are also being considered to deploy the technology at other important infrastructure including power stations, prisons, and military sites.
It is estimated that almost 120 near misses between drones and aircraft were reported last year, significantly higher than the six incidents recorded in 2014.
Williamson told the publication: “I think that everyone would be expecting all airports to be having this detection, and deterrence effect also, at all commercial airports in the future.”
Military-grade anti-drone equipment can detect, track and ground the devices.