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;
LATEST GOVERNMENT PETITION FIGURES
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.