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The chaos unleashed by an errant drone (or not, no one is quite sure what happened yet) at Gatwick airport in the UK over the Christmas holiday travel season is probably going to be a turning point in the battle between governments and drone operators. That’s because, as we noted above, we now have evidence that drones, real or not, can have a really outsized impact on air travel and costs airlines and governments tons of money in the process.
Police in the UK are already prepping for the next major incident, should it come – and that would seem to be more a question of when than if.
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FStoppers reports that they are training to use the special drone disabling bazookas we told you about some months back. It's pretty cool tech but it's still relatively experimental at best. But that doesn't seem to matter anymore as the Gatwick incident clearly demonstrates.
Basically how it works is the bazooka-like device is aimed at the drone and disables its flight systems with a net in order to cause it to crash to the ground. Some devices being tested use a combination of methods but this is one of the few that uses a physical net to insure that the drone is brought down. Called the SkyWall 100, the device is made by OpenWall Engineering and can work at 130 ft distance from the drone. It also has a parachute so that the drone is not damaged in its descent.
According to FStoppers, approximately 140,000 travelers were impacted directly by the chaos at Gatwick airport. Those numbers are not only mind boggling but also troubling when you consider no one is certain what happened. This is probably not the last we will hear about the Gatwick drone incident.
What do you think? Is the paranoia out of control or is it only a matter of time before drones face strict regulations from governments? Let us know in the comments.