Gatwick Airport drones – two people arrested for ‘criminal use’

The police say they have arrested two people in connection with the use of drones at Gatwick airport. They described the use of drones as ‘criminal.’ The drones have caused major disruption at the UK’s second-busiest airport.

Over 100,000 Christmas travellers suffered as hundreds of airplanes had to stay on the ground due to the drone sightings.

Gatwick airport – police announcement

Superintendent James Collis, of Sussex Police, said:

“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.”

“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.”

Sussex Police urges members of the public to be vigilant. They ask people to support them by contacting the police immediately if they have any information that can help them bring those responsible to justice.

If you have any information about the drones or people involved with them, call (by telephone) 101 and quote Operation Trebor. If you see anybody acting suspiciously in the area of the airport, you can report it by dialling 999.

Gatwick airport drone - Sussex Police

Superintendent Collis added:

“The arrests we have made this evening are a result of our determination to keep the public safe from harm, every line of enquiry will remain open to us until we are confident that we have mitigated further threats to the safety of passengers.”

Gatwick Airport – flights resume

Security agencies have brought in a number of safety measures to enable Gatwick Airport to re-open on December 21 (Friday).

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, of the Sussex Police, said:

“We are really pleased that the airport has re-opened. The number of options now available to help us detect and mitigate the threat from the drone has given us increased confidence in keeping people safe.”

“This, and the fact the last confirmed sighting was before 10pm last night, is reassuring for passengers who have been disrupted by this criminal behaviour.”

“This has been a particularly challenging situation. We have looked at everything possible that we can deploy to mitigate this threat and we have a range of measures, of differing levels of sophistication, in place which puts us in a much better position. We are being supported by Surrey Police and Metropolitan Police, as well as the military.”

Sussex Police - Gatwick Airport
Sussex Police officers at Gatwick Airport. (Image: Sussex Police)

Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport is the United Kingdom’s second largest airport. It serves over 46 million passengers annually. They travel to 228 destinations in seventy-four countries.

The airport generates approximately 85,000 jobs nationwide, including 24,000 locally.

In a press release, the airport issued the following statement on Friday:

“Overnight we have been able to work with partners, including Government agencies and the Military to put measures in place which have provided the confidence we needed to re-open the runway and ensure the safety of passengers, which remains our priority.”