The drone sightings which disrupted about 1,000 flights to and from Gatwick Airport in December was a “not an unexpected incident”, an professional says.
Prof Iain Grey, chairman of the Drones Business Motion Group, stated “many commentators have been speaking for a while” concerning the potential of disruption from drones close to airports.
He questioned why Gatwick had not carried out applied sciences quicker.
An airport spokesman stated the incident was “malicious and unprecedented”.
He added: “Detection and security protocols have been in place and have been efficient in making certain our absolute precedence, which was the security of our airfield and passengers throughout the incident on 19-21 December.
“Inside days Gatwick had invested a number of million kilos and is now geared up to the extent supplied by the Armed Forces throughout the incident.”
About 140,000 folks have been disrupted throughout the 36 hours of chaos which noticed the runways shut, briefly reopened, and shut once more.
Sussex Police stated there had been 67 reviews of drone sightings – regardless of an earlier “miscommunication” which forged doubt on any real drone exercise – and the Military was known as in.
Two folks have been arrested over the assault and launched with out cost. No different arrests have been made.
The airport provided a £50,000 reward by way of Crimestoppers and one other £10,000 has been put up by the charity’s chairman Lord Ashcroft to catch the culprits accountable.
Prof Grey, director of aerospace at Cranfield College, stated: “In some unspecified time in the future that kind of incident was going to occur.
“The query is why weren’t folks higher ready?
“This was not unexpected.”
Final week, the federal government introduced measures to provide police further powers to fight drones, together with extending the exclusion zone round airports to a 5km radius.
Ministers additionally introduced that from 30 November, operators of drones weighing between 250g and 20kg might be required to register and take a web based drone pilot competency check.
However Prof Grey believes the Gatwick’s chaos was from a “rogue drone operator” and “no matter legal guidelines, no matter applied sciences you do put in place, there might be folks on the market who wish to try to disrupt, and do dangerous”.