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UK police release two after arrests following Gatwick Airport drone shutdown

UK police release two after arrests following Gatwick Airport drone shutdown


The suspects have since been released, and the investigation remains ongoing

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Flights Resume From Gatwick Airport After Drone Activity Halted Christmas Getaway
Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images

UK police have arrested two individuals in connection with flight disruptions at London Gatwick Airport. The pair, a 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman were arrested late on Friday, according to the Sussex Police.

Air traffic at Gatwick, England’s second largest airport, was disrupted when a drone was spotted flying in the area on Wednesday, prompting the airport to suspend flights through Friday. Flights were diverted to other airports, and authorities ended up bringing in the British Army, which media reports say set up an Israeli-built drone defense system called a “Drone Dome,” designed to intercept the device’s radio signals. Flights resumed at the airport on Friday.

Sussex Police did not identify the individuals, other than to say that they were being held on “suspicion of disrupting services of civil aviation aerodrome to endanger or likely to endanger safety of operations or persons,” and that the investigation was ongoing. According to The Guardian, authorities aren’t investigating the incident as a terrorism incident, but say that “an environmental protest was a possibility.”

On Sunday, the pair were released without charges, according to The Guardian. Authorities said in a statement that both fully cooperated with their questions and are “satisfied that they are no longer suspects in the drone incidents at Gatwick.” They also indicated that they have recovered a damaged drone near the airport, and are continuing their investigation into the incident.

Updated, December 23rd, 12:00PM ET: The headline and article have been updated with information that the two suspects have since been released, and that the investigation is ongoing.