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Security start up says Gatwick Airport shutdown could have been avoided

An airport shutdown, while costly and inconvenient, is low on the scale of what drones can be used to do

Saturday December 22, 2018 7:32 PM, ummid.com News Network

Gatwick airport shut down

Austin (Texas): The 36+ hour drone-caused shutdown of Gatwick Airport has affected over 120,000 travelers, with costs expected to run into the millions of dollars. Gatwick Airport London alone is estimated to have lost over $570,000 (£450,000) in revenue. In fact, Drones of Prey, an Austin, TX based counter-drone security start up, says that this is the most impactful drone-based incident the civilian space has ever seen.

"It didn't need to happen like this," says Michael Cohen, CEO of Drones of Prey.

"Places like airports, stadiums, and critical infrastructure sites, those most at risk, often have a distinct lack of reliable solutions at their disposal", he said.

"There are systems available that could have tracked these drone flights, determined points of origin, and even helped to catch the people involved. Hopefully this can serve as a bit of a wakeup call to sites like Gatwick so that next time something like this happens, they have solutions ready to ensure safety and security", Michael said.

Drones of Prey is an Austin, TX based counter-drone security firm working to keep places like Gatwick Airport safe and secure from the rising threats we face from drone technologies. By training physical sensors, Drones of Prey ensures reliable identification and tracking no matter how, when, or where a drone is being flown.

From crashes on the White House lawn, to flying into the stands at a Padres' game, to invading a French nuclear reactor site, the number of drone-based incidents is on the rise. Still, only a few locations have installed counter-drone solutions, and those that have been installed are often insufficient due to the increasing sophistication in standard drone capabilities, such as autonomous flight and collision avoidance systems, Drones of Prey observed.

"Sites must become more proactive in implementing counter-drone solutions. An airport shutdown, while costly and inconvenient, is low on the scale of what drones can be used to do, with concerns ranging from privacy issues to potential violent attacks", it added.

Meanwhile, a 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman have been arrested after drone sightings shut down Gatwick Airport - the U.K.'s second-largest airport for a 26-hour period over Wednesday and Thursday,and for a third time on Friday.

"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 10pm on 21 December," Superintendent James Collis said in a statement.

"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", he said.

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