Thursday 20 December 2018

Police send in snipers to shoot down Gatwick drone

Police snipers have been brought in to shoot down drones being deliberately flown over Gatwick Airport as up to 110,000 people trying to get away for Christmas were left stranded today.

Officers are in a cat-and-mouse game with the rogue pilot who has not yet been found despite causing complete chaos at Britain's second busiest airport for more than 15 hours. 

A police helicopter and dozens of officers on the ground are scanning a five mile zone around Gatwick with marksmen carrying Heckler & Koch sniper rifles ready to shoot down any drones and end the most disruptive airport trespass in UK history. 

Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw, the airport's policing commander, said: 'Each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears; when we look to reopen the airfield, the drone reappears. I'm absolutely convinced it's a deliberate act to disrupt Gatwick Airport'. 

Passengers have been warned to expect disruption running into Friday - the busiest day of the Christmas getaway - with planes grounded at Gatwick or scattered across Britain and Europe after being diverted overnight. 

Inside the airport tens of thousands of people are stranded and forced to sleep on floors with today's 760 flights all under threat, including several meant to fly children to meet Santa in Lapland. 

Detectives are investigating if the incursion is a stunt by a lone pilot or part of a wider plot by activists who want to disrupt flights for environmental or political reasons - but have initially ruled out a terror attack.   


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