Heathrow Airport has resumed all departure flights following a suspension due to reports of drone sightings.
A Heathrow spokesperson said that they were responding to the drone sightings in the airport and were coordinating with the Metro Police to ensure that there will be no threat to operational safety. They have suspended departures as a precautionary measure while investigations were ongoing. They have expressed their apologies to all passengers affected in this suspension.
These alleged drone sightings happened 4 days after Heathrow and Gatwick airports have reported their multimillion pounds of investment devices that could avoid future flight disruptions. From December 19-21, around 1,000 flights were affected with Gatwick airport being forced to close. The Army has been called in to help regarding this matter.
The anti-drone device was operated on a roof in the airport to detect and stop communications of the drone’s operating system and its remote controller. This system has a 360-degree detection, using four radars to identify as well as trace targets.
Ben Wallace, the Security Minister, said that he could say they are now able to deploy the detection systems all over the UK in combatting this drone threat, following the end of the drone-related disturbance at Gatwick. The government said that there’s a set of measures meant to give the police extra power to combat drones. Exclusion zones around airports were extended to an approximately 5-km radius, and extensions right from runway end were added.
Ministers have also stated that operators of drones, weighing 250g to 20K, have to register and undergo an online drone pilot competency exam. Police will issue a fixed-penalty notice to minor drone offenses and fines up to £100 will be implemented to anyone who failed to properly land a drone as instructed by the police or fail to show their registration in order to operate it.