Police are searching a home in Crawley after two people were arrested over drone disruption which grounded flights at Gatwick Airport.
Two people – a 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman from the town – were arrested late on Friday and are being questioned over “criminal use of drones” at the airport.
© Getty An airplane takes off at Gatwick Airport, after the airport reopened to flights following its forced closure because of drone activity, in Gatwick
The disruption began at around 9pm on Wednesday.
The closure of the airport disrupted around 1,000 flights and ruined the travel plans of more than 140,000 people.
Crawley is around five miles from the airport, which is Britain’s second busiest and serves more than 43 million passengers a year.
A Gatwick spokesman said: “Broadly, things are going in the right direction. By the end of the weekend, things should be back to normal.”
Sky’s chief political correspondent Jon Craig said the government had been criticised for not doing enough to stop drones disrupting flights.
He said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling had been accused of “dither and delay” over measures to tighten laws on drones.
“Critics say the government has spent too much time preparing for a no-deal Brexit that they haven’t got around to legislating but the government denies this,” Craig said.
“The government says they have legislated this year to make it illegal for drones to fly within 1,000m of an airport or above 400ft but, after initially commenting on [the subject], Mr Grayling has been pretty silent for the past 24 hours or so.”
© Getty An arrivals board in the South Terminal building at Gatwick Airport, after the airport reopened to flights following its forced closure because of drone activity, in Gatwick, Britain, December 21, 2018Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald called for an independent inquiry into the disruption.
He said: “The government was repeatedly warned about the risks posed by drones to aviation but failed to act.
“The delay in bringing forward legislation is indicative of this government’s failure to concentrate on the day-to-day business in front of them. They have taken their eye off the ball.
“The scale of disruption is unacceptable and it demands that we find out how this was allowed to happen, which is why Labour is calling for an independent inquiry.”
On Friday, military equipment was used to prevent further drone disruption.
It is also believed that the airport is using an Israeli-developed Drone Dome system, which can detect drones using radar.
It can also jam communications between the drone and its operator, enabling authorities to take control of and land the device.