UK airports should buy anti-drone technology rather than “expect the Royal Air Force to constantly step in”, the defence secretary has said.
Gavin Williamson said that all airports should be investing in detection and deterrence systems after the recent closure of Gatwick and disruption at Heathrow owing to drones being flown close to the runway.
His comments could leave some airports perplexed, after the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, earlier told the Commons there was no “perfect” off-the-shelf system available.
The military has joined police in dealing with drone sightings at Britain’s two biggest airports. Departures at Heathrow were suspended for an hour on Tuesday night, while about 140,000 passengers had their travel disrupted during the closure of Gatwick over a three-day period before Christmas.
Neither Heathrow nor Gatwick have divulged what equipment they possess to deal with drones but have pledged to