Two people who were arrested and held over the drone disruption at Gatwick airport have been released without charge. A man and woman were arrested on suspicion of “disrupting services of civil aviation aerodrome to endanger or likely to endanger safety of operations or persons”, after drones near Gatwick airport caused major disruption to airfield operations, with around 140,000 travellers thought to have been impacted.
Sussex Police Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said on Sunday;
“Both people have fully co-operated with our enquiries and I am satisfied that they are no longer suspects in the drone incidents at Gatwick.
“It is important to remember that when people are arrested in an effort to make further enquiries it does not mean that they are guilty of an offence and Sussex Police would not seek to make their identity public.
“Our inquiry continues at a pace to locate those responsible for the drone incursions, and we continue to actively follow lines of investigation.
“We ask for the public’s continued support by reporting anything suspicious, contacting us with any information in relation to the drone incidents at Gatwick.”
Flight schedules at Gatwick, Britain’s second busiest airport, have largely returned to normal, though the pilot of the drone remains at large. Gatwick Airport Limited is now offering a reward of £50,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the disruption caused by the drones.
Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald 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 Department for Transport said the claims by the shadow transport secretary were “a combination of nonsense and gross misrepresentation”.
Earlier this week, Chris Grayling temporarily stopped night flight restrictions in order to attempt to ease the disruption so close to Christmas as flights were diverted across the UK and beyond while Gatwick was closed.