On December 19, 2018 a drone was spotted flying over the perimeter fence at Gatwick airport and caused it to shut down for about 36 hours. This incident forced the cancellation of about 1,000 flights and affected more than 140,000 passengers. This is just one example of how drones can be a safety hazard.
A British man has been given a suspended sentence for jamming GPS signals from commercial drones in the vicinity of London’s Gatwick airport.
On Wednesday, the man was given a suspended sentence at Guildford Crown Court for causing serious risk to air safety by using GPS jamming devices to knock out the navigational systems of three commercial drones operating near London’s Gatwick airport.
Cheap gps jammer are prohibited in the UK and it is a criminal offence to use them. The man was also ordered to pay costs of £2,000 and compensation of £1,250 each to Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport.
This incident occurred on December 19, 2018 and caused Gatwick to close its runway for a period of time.
On the third day of December 2018, the Gatwick Airport in the UK was closed for about forty minutes after a British GPS jamming drone crashed into one of its runways. This incident occurred on December 19, 2018 and caused Gatwick to close its runway for a period of time.
Following the Gatwick drone incident, other airports have begun investigating counter-drone technology.
Gatwick is the first airport to use anti-drone technology. Heathrow has stated that it will introduce its own system in 2020 and Manchester Airport is set to follow suit by 2021.
According to an article published by DroneLife, an anti-drone company called Dedrone offers companies a solution called DroneTracker, which consists of various sensors that detect drones within a 500 meters radius of their location. The sensors then alert security personnel about any drones in the area so they can take action against them if necessary.
Authorities have identified 44-year-old Grant Cameron as the person responsible for this incident. He was given a suspended sentence for his role in the drone attacks, which took place on July 14 and 15 of last year.
The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a warning to people who use ground-based GPS repeaters to jam the signals of drones. The FCC warns that those who use their repeater devices to interfere with the flight paths of commercial aircraft may face criminal charges or even jail time.
In a statement, Sussex Police said that Cameron had been charged with “reckless endangerment of an aircraft, contrary to Section 3(2), Air Navigation Order 2016 and malicious use of a telecommunications network under Section 41 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994”.
In conclusion, please don’t jam GPS signals from commercial drones in the vicinity of London’s Gatwick airport. This may result in 140,000 passengers being affected.