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UK Airports Embrace Anti-Drone Tech

January 17, 2019 / Barbara Jorgensen

The increasing availability of drones has finally prompted two major international airports, the U.K.’s Heathrow and Gatwick, to procure anti-drone systems. While these moves may signal a boon for counter-drone technology, they also underscore the danger of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) use in restricted air space. Canada has recently released new, stricter guidelines for commercial drone use; the U.S., the EU, and China also have regulations in place. Since 2017, at least three drone-plane collisions have been reported, and there have been numerous instances of near misses. Gatwick suffered a spate of drone sightings in a three-day period leading up to the 2018 Christmas holiday, according to Reuters. The airport canceled more than 1,000 flights in late December, impacting 140,000 air travelers. The local police force reported UAV sightings from 115 witnesses, including airport staff, police officers and a pilot.