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Thursday, 20 December 2018

Gatwick Drones - a gross failure of government

London's second airport has now been closed for 24 hours and responsible ministers are running around like headless chickens. They don't know how many drones there are, where the operators are, when they will appear next and certainly not how to get them out of the sky once they are up. 

This didn't come out of left field. This whole thing was entirely predictable; a universally available technology with no restrictions, a known vulnerability, the risk events with potentially catastrophic consequences. There is NO excuse for the police and security services not to have formulated a response which should have gone into effect last night. This is a gross failure of government, a sackable omission for senior responsible officers and an embarrassment for the nation. Heads MUST roll.

If they're still out there waiting for a little Remainer with a joystick to launch the next one, or have set up their signal jammers, they may be disappointed. Drones can be pre-programmed with course and altitude; there's no reason why the perp didn't leave a dozen drones on hidden rooftops around Gatwick a week ago, each in sequence taking off, flying over the runways a bit and then ditching itself in a body of water.  All preset within the drone and no signals to jam. They've no idea how many there are to go or what the launch frequencies are - will another six take-off on Sunday? And they can be initiated either with a mobile phone call or an inbuilt timer.

One thing's for certain. Our police and security services had better get their acts together pronto - their failure to date is simply not acceptable. 

Update - Friday am
Perhaps ill-advised for PTSD Adonis to post thus on Twitter - I understand he's already been reported to the police for a 'glorification of terrorism' offence. He talks bollocks, too;


No Deal Brexit - 263,365 growing
STOP BREXIT - 101,143 sclerotic 

In fact the Adonis option has actually been overtaken by a petition to "Make grey squirrel rescue exempt from Invasive Alien Species Order 2019"

2nd Update - 8.53
Yes! The boss of Drone Defence, UK's premier drone countermeasures company, has just been interviewed on R4 'Today' and said in his expert view (1) more than 1 drone was involved - probably several and that (2) they were likely to have been pre-programmed.

Just as we posted over 12 hours ago. Raedwald  - Truth First.
And a special prize to Jack the Dog - the responsible Minister, Grayling, has just made a statement saying that 'Lessons have been learned'. As predicted. 


Domo said...

They were going to shoot them down, but didn't over safety concerns....

Domo said...

They were going to shoot them down, but didn't over safety concerns....

mongoose said...

Surely any half decent man with a shotgun can take out a drone on an airfield without danger to anyone or anything? I think I could probably do it and I haven't fired a shotgun for twenty-five years.

DiscoveredJoys said...

If the perpetrator(s) is an ECO warrior this is not the way to win people over to your cause.

If the perpetrator(s) is a Global Warming warrior this is not the way to win people over to your cause.

If the perpetrator(s) is a Remainer...

If the perpetrator(s) is a Brexiteer...

If the perpetrator(s) is a Religionismist...

If the perpetrator(s) is a practical joker then (along with all the other above) I hope you get a year or two in prison to reflect on your lack of common sense and that such a stunt will ruin your life after prison.

Sobers said...

I've been saying for ages that drones should not be unlicensed. We don't allow people to have motor vehicles that are unregistered (and uninsured), we don't allow people to own and fly aircraft without a great deal of registration and regulation, so why on earth have we allowed people to get their hands on something that has massive potential to be used for everything from voyeurism, to drug smuggling, to scouting properties for burglaries, to purposely causing accidents, to terrorism, the list goes on and on, without a single way of identifying exactly who is behind their use?

Stephen J said...

Good chance this is environmentalists, they seem to be able to get away with anything.

If it was me I would do more than give 'em a year, they would get life... Hindley style.

The other possibility is that as part of "project hysteria" an event is underway, but where it is going... I have no idea, but what are the chances that the Russians will be blamed?

DeeDee99 said...

I recall Lord Tebbitt writing an article for the DT about 6-8 years ago, in which he said the Government should legislate to regulate the private drone market as a matter of urgency - for fear of terrorists using them.

Unfortunately, we're no longer governed by adults who think logically and believe their primary responsibility is Protection of the Realm and safety of the British people.

jack ketch said...

for a little Remainer


I feel you are being somewhat unfair towards Brexiteers, Raed. I am sure not all are "yella vest" gobshitey luddites who couldn't organise an orgy in a brothel let alone a rather successful piece of 'hacktivism' involving a least some knowledge of where to find the necessary Open Source scripts to reprogram drones.

I say 'hacktvism' because this is rather a classic of the genre: it ISN'T the drones causing the disruption but rather the 'security protocols' that are automatically initiated ie using their own defences/weapons against THEM (whoever the 'them' is).

Mind you R-W may be on the right track that it is a 'black op' by Project Fear...

Jack the dog said...

Radders - I think we can be quite certain of one thing.

No heads will roll. There will be no high profile punishment sacking.

However we can rest assured that LESSONS WILL BE LEARNED!

Jack the dog said...

I haven't really worked out why drones are suddenly such a threat and any other radio controlled model aircraft aren't, and people have been playing with them for decades.

Raedwald said...

Jack - apols, I updated the post after you commented, but I was going to anyway, so not deliberate or something.

Mr Ecks said...

Ketch--you are low scum indeed. But nice of your mate Adonis to talk up a civil war tho'. Long past time for prominent remainiacs to be getting their T&S charges. And open gloating about terroristic tactics is a good way for Adonis to put himself and the rest of the arrogant scumbags that are the remain gang in the frame.

John Brown said...

It is an act of utter negligence (criminal?) that neither government (our military), nor local police, nor the foreign owners of Gatwick Airport had any plan or equipment to deal with a rogue drone despite previous incidents.

No drone of their own to crash into the drone ?
If the drone is pre-programmed then I would doubt it is also capable of taking avoiding action? If it takes avoiding action then surely it can be jammed ?

What about plastic bullets ?

Or hollow plastic shells which either shatter on impact or deploy a drogue/parachute if they miss the target to avoid collateral damage ?

Or the system we have seen on TV which catches the drone in a net ?

But the authorities appeared to have had absolutely nothing at their disposal!

Only a plan to hope it went away.

Anonymous said...

I doubt if licensing would help, as it will be very easy to smuggle unlicensed drones into the country.

Don Cox

Dave_G said...

I find it ridiculous and somewhat disconcerting that the airports can be 'held to ransom' by such a simple method - the 'terrorists' must be watching this with absolute glee.

It will likely turn out to be some mindless thugs acting in their version of fun but it exposes the system for its defencelessness against lateral thinking and no amount of legislation is going to prevent similar occurrences.

But this may be a case of over reaction???? Given that bird strikes can and do occur and are equally unpreventable (other than a given level of deterence) and the damage they cause is similar to a potential drone strike (which in itself would be extremely difficult to achieve in a deliberate sense) this may be a case for closer examination of the REACTION to the problem?

Without getting into a 'won't someone think of the children' argument there is a lot to be said agaist the airports previous knee jerk reaction to Mount Goggledegook errupting in Iceland and the closure of air traffic for the potential damage from particulates in the atmosphere and there was discussion over the way airports were (in some mids) closed for no reason.

Are we looking at deliberate over reaction to push a different agenda elsewhere? The Black Flag event mentioned?

Anonymous said...

Many Gov's have the electronic capability to drop these things like a sack of sand. Also don't tell me that any pansy laws would stop them using conventional weaponry if they WANTED to.
By ALLOWING this to continue one can only conclude that it is an excuse to shut the airport down for reasons they do not wish to divulge.

mikebravo said...

Surely "Another" gross failure of government?

What have they not fecked up in the last 30 years. Nothing those self serving bastards touch ever works and they run and hide when real decisions have to be made.

Perhaps they didn't have permission from the real govenment in Berlaymont to bring it/them down.

Val said...

Is Lord Adonis making a threat, it certainly sounds like it.

Cascadian said...

Mandatory semi-annual exams for all MPs and senior bureaucrats, to determine "what has been learned" Fail the exam lose 25% of salary, cumulative every six months.

Predicted failure rate~95%.

Suddenly being at the trough becomes less desirable.

DiscoveredJoys said...

You have to wonder why there is not a small Civil Service department charged with wargaming future technological problems and preparing possible resolutions - all of which can be dusted off and used at a moments notice.

However when you see how political interference determines what may be addressed (e.g. preparation for Brexit) then you have to ask yourself what is the point of politicians?

John Brown said...

The biggest danger facing the world is not global warming but over-population and undesirable migration.

Why people like Sutherland, Soros and Merkel want Europe to become like the ME and Africa is unfathomable.

jack ketch said...

Apparently Gatwick is closed again due to further drone-age, which surprises me somewhat, I had kinda assumed 'they' would hit another London Airport next-probably Stansted or Luton. Of course it might just be copycats.

Anonymous said...

Panic over a flimsy drone yet people seem happy to fire shotguns and EM radiation into the air around an airport.
Making joe public accustomed to suddenly having military personnel around ? Is something big happening in early 2019 ?
Hobby drones bad.
Reaper drones taking out wedding parties good.

Something else is gong on.

Anonymous said...

“going” on .
Though medals may be involved somewhere .

Anonymous said...

Shotguns are useless over 80 /90 yards and that drone looked much higher. Luckily we have Mr Grayling in charge so nothing will be done .

Anonymous said...

Ooer, BBC news saying that there were no confirmed sitings - there may not have been any drones in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Ooer, BBC news saying that there were no confirmed sitings - there may not have been any drones in the first place.

A man and woman arrested in connection with drone sightings that grounded flights at Gatwick Airport have been released without charge.
The 47-year-old man and 54-year-old woman, from Crawley, West Sussex, had been arrested on Friday night.
Their release came as Sussex Police said they were relying on eye witnesses and there may have been no "genuine drone activity in the first place".
Det Ch Supt Jason Tingley said no footage of a drone had been obtained.

Anonymous said...

Manchester Evening News reporting the same. Project Fear’s expansion into Operation DronePanic is not going well.
Drones aren’t meant for intruding into airspace but as camera platforms.
Can’t have joe public looking at things that aren’t filtered through sanitised controlled media.