2 major U.K. airports order military-grade anti-drone equipment

Passengers wait at the North Terminal at London Gatwick Airport

Image The travel plans of tens of thousands of people were disrupted

Media reports suggested earlier on Thursday that the defense ministry had removed its anti-drone hardware from Gatwick.

An arrivals board in the South Terminal building at Gatwick Airport, after the airport reopened to flights following its forced closure because of drone activity, in Gatwick, Britain, Dec. 21, 2018.

An MoD spokesperson confirmed: "The military capability has now been withdrawn from Gatwick".

The anti-drone equipment can detect and jam communications between a drone and its operator and was deployed on a roof at Gatwick.

"As Gatwick's new industrial partner, VINCI Airports will support and encourage growth of traffic, operational efficiency and leverage its global expertise in the development of commercial activities to further improve passenger satisfaction and experience", said Nicolas Notebaert, President of VINCI Airports.

The step to withdraw military equipment - thought to include the Israeli-developed Drone Dome system - is interesting, to say the least.

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The system has a range of several miles and uses four radars to give 360-degree detection to identify and track drones.

Transport Minister Chris Grayling met police, aviation and defence chiefs to discuss the issue, the report said.

Mr York defended the decision to hold Mr Gait for an extended period, despite his employer saying he was at work during the drone flights.

The following day, a senior Sussex police officer added to the state of confusion when he suggested that there might not have ever been any drones over Gatwick at all - though his comments were later dismissed as a "miscommunication".

No one has been charged and no credible drone has yet been found. "I am led to believe that we are able to rule those drones out of this investigation at this time".

Heathrow has also recently purchased cutting-edge technology, according to The Times, as airports across the world weigh up how to respond to a similar threat. More than 120,000 people were affected over 36 hours of delays.

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