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Illegal Drones ground Gatwick Airport in London

Illegal drones or the Unmaned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) were flown over Europe’s busiest airport which caused all business to come to an abrupt stop. This caused all incoming planes were diverted to other airport to avoid the danger posed by these UAVs.

The situation grew worse to an extent that the local police called for reinforcement from the British Army to deal with the menace.

Numerous governments all over the world are struggling to deal with the dangers or risks posed by illegal drones.

In the United Kingdom (UK) it is against the law to fly a drone within 1 kilometer of an airport boundary.

In the United States of America drone users have to notify the authorities in advance if they plan to fly a drone within 8 km from the airport or airfield boundary.

Laws in South Africa on use of drones are strict. It is against the law to fly a drone within 10 kilometers of an helipad, airstrip or airport. The drones can be operated elsewhere only during daylight and when its clear.

Possible Solutions 

A company called Quantum Aviation has developed a technology of jamming the communication between the drone and the remote controller. This causes the drone to get into its default setting hence makes it return to the operator.

This new technology was developed to counter any threats caused by drones during the London Olympic Games in 2012.

China has also developed a similar technology which can down drones or UAVs from half a mile away.

Another option is to use a special gun to shoot the drones down. However, this method introduces an additional risk of stray live bullets. This is why Gatwick airport ruled the use of this method to deal with the drones menace.

A number of technology companies have developed hand held or shoulder mounted equipment which shoots nets at the illegal or rogue drones. The net engulfs the blades and hence makes them fall from the sky.

Open Works, a British Engineering Company is reported to have developed a large Bazooka which shoots a net plus a parachute at the rogue drones. The bazooka named skywall100 also has a scope to enhance its accuracy.

The other option is use of drones equipped with nets to disarm other drones. This method was used in South Korea during the Olympics.

Laser beam 

Boeing has developed a high energy laser beam which can disable small drones miles away a few seconds after identified them.


Netherlands has a low tech method of dealing with the high tech menace. The police have trained eagles to get hold into the propellers hence effectively disabling the hostile drone.

The eagles are reported to treat the drones as prey and hence they are not interested in anything else when they are released for that work.

The police in Netherlands are pioneers in the use of this natural method of dealing with rogue drones. France has also taken up the use of eagles to deal with rogue drones.

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