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Busiest British Airports Purchase Anti-Drone Systems

January 4, 2019

Two of Britain's largest international airports are planning to install military-grade anti-drone defense systems to avoid attacks like the one that grounded nearly 1,000 flights at London's Gatwick Airport over the Christmas holidays.

Last month, British authorities sought help from the military after a number of drone sightings over Gatwick, Britain's second-busiest airport, forced it to shut down, disrupting travel plans of tens of thousands of people just before Christmas.

British media said the military deployed technology similar to the Israeli-designed Drone Dome system, which can detect and disable a drone by jamming its communication frequencies.

Airport security officials worldwide are studying the issue.

Officials at London's Heathrow Airport and Gatwick on Thursday confirmed the purchase of the anti-drone systems but would not say if they were the same as the one used by the military. The reports of the purchase first appeared in The Times.

The airport purchases were made despite a comment last month, in which Security Minister Ben Wallace said Britain's security forces had detection systems that could be deployed throughout the country to combat the threat of drones.

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