How Drone Detection Systems Helped to Find Intrusion in Gatwick Airport?

How Drone Detection Systems Helped to Find Intrusion in Gatwick Airport?

How Drone Detection Systems Helped to Find Intrusion in Gatwick Airport?

You might have heard about the closure of one of the largest airports in the United Kingdom in December 2018, but do you know what led to this shutdown? Well, it might shock you to learn that this occurred because some rogue drones were spotted around the main runway.

What Really Happened with the Rogue Drones Spotted in the Airport?

At first, a drone was spotted and this caused the officials at Gatwick Airport to stop all inbound and outbound flights for a couple of hours. However, another rogue drone was spotted shortly after the airport was reopened and this prompted another shutdown. This time, almost 50 drone sightings were recorded.

What we were able to gather from the unfortunate occurrence is that the perpetrators are still unknown as at the time of this writing. However, the officials believed that this was a targeted act (it happened just before Christmas, one of the busiest flight periods). In total, about 1000 flights were affected due to this intrusion and as a result of this, over 140,000 passengers either had their flight canceled or diverted.

However, this incident has led to calls for stricter drone regulations and this brings us to the topic being discussed today; will drone detection systems help prevent further intrusions like this? Also, could it have helped?

Regulations Surrounding Drone Technology and the Emergence of Drone Detection Systems

Ben Wallace, the Security Minister, recently announced that a couple of drone detection systems were being installed to curtail such activity. He went further to state that anyone who was accused of flying a drone with criminal intent, or according to his words, “recklessly”, would be met with severe consequences.

In the statement released to the press, Wallace was quoted saying, “The situation is not an easy one to proffer solutions to because of two reasons; the first being the huge proliferation of (drone) devices.” He also mentioned that it was difficult deploying military measures in a civilian setting. 

There’s currently a reward of £50,000 ($63,000) for anyone who has information that might possibly lead to the arrest of those involved in the intrusion. Also, the airport officials are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that such an incident never recurs, with £5 million ($6.3 million) already splurged on the drone detection systems.

This begs the question; what are the drone detection systems and how do they work?

What are Drone Detection Systems?

As the name implies, such a system is responsible for offering security against threats made possible by drone technology. This is done via a number of ways and they are all mentioned below.

Analysis and Identification

Several sensors are ideally used to analyze and identify the drones in question. For instance, we have the radar sensor which tracks a moving object and distinguishes it from other objects like birds or moving trees. An RF sensor gives the direction by tracking the RF signals transmitted. Acoustic sensors also match the sounds being heard to that of a drone.


Alerts can be delivered through SMS, instant messaging, electronic mail, live stream of video or audio footages, etc. These should fit well into the existing security strategy in place.


As effective as it is to get alerts if there’s a drone-intrusion in an environment, it would be even more effective if you have a security system that provides a safe and efficient countermeasure once any security breach has been identified. There are several mechanisms that can be employed in this regard and many are proprietary technology.

Have Drone Detection Systems Been Tried and Tested?

With the advancement of technology and the ubiquitous nature, it is not surprising to see the drone detection technology being used. In 2018, at the summit meeting involving North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump of the US, an AARTOS Drone Detection System was used to prevent unmanned aerial vehicles from gaining access to the meeting.

This system was produced by Aaronia AG from Strickscheid, Germany and the RF signals being used by drones for control was detected and tracked using a combination of artificial intelligence and special sensors.

These detection systems are also widely used in several applications involving the military aerospace.


Are you having issues with drones that infringe on your personal space and make you feel less secure in your own home? Fortunately, you do not need to spend millions on a drone detection system, neither must you be Kim Jong Un. Contact us today to get help with the design of drones and the implementation of drone detection systems.

One Comment

  1. hieetraining
    February 8, 2019 Reply

    It’s looking Very Nice. Thanks for giving full information.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.