Gatwick Airport drone incident

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by Bald Rick, 19 Dec 2018.

  1. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    GTR has been playing announcements to let people travel to Luton for a flight if they have a ticket for Gatwick. I don't know how many flights have been moved to Luton, as it must be crazy out there.

    Hearing the airport will be closed until 6am. This is quite unprecedented, although I am sure we could have predicted something like this would happen sooner or later. I am not just concerned about who is behind this, but what potential there will be for copycat incidents here and around the world.
     
  2. ModernRailways

    ModernRailways Established Member

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    Reports now saying Gatwick is to remain closed for the foreseeable future and that passengers should not travel to the Airport.

    RyanScare have been pretty good and have moved all their Gatwick flights to Stansted.

    And yet this is all over a drone... Say I went to my nearest airport (Newcastle) and decided to fly my drone (I'd have to hack the software first) is that saying I can stop flights for hours. So with 8 people at 8 different UK airports (MAN, EDB, BHX, GLA, LHR, LGW, STN, BRS?) you could cause mass chaos.
     
  3. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Plenty that you don't need to know anyway.
     
  4. Tim R-T-C

    Tim R-T-C Established Member

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    Certainly could be. Someone waiting on a bitcoin account.

    The 'pilot' might even just be a lackey who has been paid to release a drone which has preprogrammed coordinates.

    The police might want to supress that info as Gatwick would likely be bombarded with copycat emails, making it harder to trace the culprit.
     
  5. Airline Man

    Airline Man Member

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    It does seem to be a very determined and 'professional' atttempt to disrupt Britain's second busiest airport at Christmas. They've got the Army and armed Police in and still can't find the drone or operator. I really wouldn't be surprised if Putin wasn't behind this. It fits in with a pattern.
     
  6. muz379

    muz379 Established Member

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    That certainly seems to be the case , although I am guessing it would depend on your drone and any way of identifying the location you would be controlling it from . This was always the problem for those shining laser pointers at aircraft . It was fairly easy to identify the origin of the beam .

    If this drone is indeed flying to a set of preprogrammed gps coordinates or if there is more than one drone of the same type then I guess its harder to track down the person controlling(not in the direct sense) this activity today .

    Anyhow I suggest that many other major airports will now be seriously reviewing their plans for incidents of this nature and investing in measures to prevent disruption this severe
     
    Last edited: 20 Dec 2018
  7. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    I would suggest that these are ground vehicles fitted with transponders so that their positions can be monitored by the control tower etc.
    FIRE(X) - fire truck, LEADER(X) - ops vehicle, land rover or such, perhaps a 'follow me' vehicle,
    ROVER(X) - perhaps airside security etc. etc.
    Others will know more.
    They seem rather busy just now.
     
  8. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Because most drones use the ISM band for control and use coded digital commands. They are designed to have robust communications to prevent unauthorised interference and unless the manufacturers are forced to embody 'back-door defeat' facilities, those protected data channels will continue to work at levels of interference way above that which would be safe at a major airport. Even a military airport would struggle to accommodate levels that high and most of their safety systems are hardened against known threats.
    Some twit in an interview TODAY was talking about jamming with EMP* which is likely to shut down a whole airport, possible inflicting permanent damage to installations and mobile devices. Forget all those cherished iPhonse, if the police lose their comms., they aren't going to apprehend many perpetrators!

    * Electromagnetic pulse, - usually caused by a nuclear event. It can blow through any unprotected semiconductor based equipment rendering it useless. Modern nuclear theatre aircraft have protection designed-in at cost, - not so for civils.
    Ironically, valve technology is relatively immune from EMP.
     
  9. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    When they catch the person responsible, they should be taken immediately to the airport and allow the thousands of delayed passengers to do what they will with them! <D
     
  10. Jack15001

    Jack15001 Member

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    Funnily enough that thought crossed my mind. Initially I thought it was some silly kids but clearly the whole thing is a bit more sophisticated than that.

    Latest news is that further drone activity has been detected within the last hour.
     
    Last edited: 20 Dec 2018
  11. muz379

    muz379 Established Member

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    Surely if they catch the person responsible ?
     
  12. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    If they haven't left the area, or even the country?!? Especially if they are foreign government agents. It's exactly the sort of asymmetric cheap, dirty trick that a foreign government would try to play. Especially if the stooge releasing the drone had no idea of where the airport was or if he was a long way away from the airport and he either had no proper controller or was given a dud.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Dare I suggest that there is one particular country that might be into doing that. Let's say they like a bit of Vodka and looking round Salisbury Cathedral? :)
     
  14. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    Failing Grayling's on the job now. On the News earlier this evening, he said that miscreants can expect long sentences but as a former Justice Minister, he should know that the maximum penalty is 5 years.
     
  15. al78

    al78 Established Member

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    The problem they are having is that they can't find who it is that is flying the drones. The drones are remote controlled so tracking the individual responsible is tricky, they could be anywhere inside a square mile, or whatever the range of operation of the drone is.

    I hope they do get caught, then all the affected passengers form an orderly queue to slap him/her in the face.
     
  16. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Oh you mean, these...
    daleks.jpg
    Image shows Daleks with caption we are not here to exterminate. we merely wish to visit ... Salisbury cathedral"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 21 Dec 2018
  17. Tim R-T-C

    Tim R-T-C Established Member

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    I just can't see this to be honest.

    The Salisbury incident and its comically "bad" cover-up was clearly an attempt by Putin to show how far his power projects and get revenge on a "traitor" to Russia.

    Disrupting a passenger airport seems pointlessly petty for a Government sanctioned exercise.

    But I wouldn't rule out Russian/East European pranksters, who have probably been behind most of the sinister hacks of recent years, have created most of the social media bot-nets and may be tacitly supported by Putin & Co.
     
  18. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    Also it seems that Russian activity is not the only threat to major airports:

    No evidence to connect them to Gatwick, but none the other way either.

    ===========

    It seems a pretty high tech prank, it would be very hard to pull off unless it was either state-sponsored or someone in a foreign government was shielding the perpetrators.
     
  19. Jack15001

    Jack15001 Member

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    Flights are now landing and taking off although that will change if the drones reappear.
     
  20. trash80

    trash80 Established Member

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    Newspapers are suggesting "eco-warrior"s, though i would have thought they'd have wanted some publicity?

    e.g. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/gatwick-airport-closed-lone-wolf-13761415

    Gatwick Airport closed: Is "lone wolf" eco-warrior behind drone chaos?
    Whitehall sources said police were investigating the possibility of a "lone wolf" eco-terrorist being behind the drone activity which is ruining Christmas travel plans for thousands
     
    Last edited: 22 Dec 2018
  21. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    Its a possibility, but as suggested earlier the appearance of the Police, Army and the suggestion of a very long spell in prison was probably enough to dissuade them from breaking cover. I think the most likely possibility is someone with the ability doing so either through a grudge or as a hi-tech "prank". Either way I suspect they will have left some electronic fingerprint somewhere, either as an error or through sheer arrogance.
     
  22. MadCommuter

    MadCommuter Member

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    If it's eco warriors, it will backfire. Causing this much disruption is not going to gain them support. Quite the reverse. I agree, it's either a grudge or someone showing off their misguided skills, much like a hacker. The person will be caught because they won't be able to keep their mouth shut.
     
  23. Tim R-T-C

    Tim R-T-C Established Member

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    What I find curious is that there have been lots of near miss drone incidents near airports, several quoted on bbc news, but none have lead to such a shutdown before AFAIK.

    Suggests to me they were aware of a threat.
     
  24. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Yeah i thought it may be something like that but wanted confirmation so thanks
     
  25. spinba11

    spinba11 Member

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    It’s closed again.
     
  26. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    I'm not so sure about that. There are plenty of young people unhappy about the worsening prospects for the earth that rising CO2 levels are causing. It is after all the next 50 years that serious changes will occur and the majority of those in positions of power or influence over continuing the increase of CO2 creation will be long gone by then.
     
  27. MadCommuter

    MadCommuter Member

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    So, who had yesterday off work, and finished at 5pm today?
     
  28. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    Assuming this is another drone incursion, perhaps a different approach is needed. Given that this is now causing millions of pounds worth of disruption, and given that those responsible will almost certainly be bragging about it somewhere, put a price on their head. A big reward for their arrest should be enough to tempt their peers to call them out.
     
  29. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    Given that this is not purely a UK problem, perhaps plane-based protective measures might be required?

    (After all, other countries that planes visit might not have the facilities to detect drones before a collision)
     
  30. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    Open again.
     

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