Gatwick Chaos

Flights Crete/ UK. UK/Crete. Other destinations from Crete or Athens, plus late availability & deals
Kilkis
Posts: 10890
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Gatwick Chaos

Postby Kilkis » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:30 pm

You've got to feel sorry for people flying to/from Gatwick for Christmas, e.g. UK ex-pats in Greece flying back to visit family and friends in the UK, as I have done many times myself in the past, and Greek ex-pats in the UK, especially students, flying back to visit family and friends in Greece.

Gatwick airport was closed at 9 pm last night due to one or more people flying one or more drones over the airport representing a collision threat to planes and it is still closed now. They have continued throughout the day today, sometimes disappearing for a time and then reappearing, and the police have been unable to stop them or trace who is doing it. There are technologies that can track the drones that have been installed at many foreign airports but none in the UK. There are a variety of technologies that can be used to disable the drones and bring them to the ground but there doesn't seem to be anything available in the UK. Airports and the government were warned about the potential threat at least two years ago but both seem to have ignored the warnings. At the moment these drones are a nuisance but drones could be weaponised to drop explosives in and around an airport. We know drones are used to deliver contraband to prisons so a terrorist using them to attack a target is not a big reach. The current drone flyers have provided a perfect practical demonstration of how easy it is and how unprepared UK airports are to defend against them.

Warwick

Guy M
Posts: 495
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: Kalamitsi Alexandrou

Re: Gatwick Chaos

Postby Guy M » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:10 pm

It just adds to the chaos that is this country. We were due to fly to Crete from Gatwick on Saturday. It’s not going to happen. Thry’ll Need to guard the person who did it if they catch him - he risks being torn limb from limb by the public.

Kilkis
Posts: 10890
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Gatwick Chaos

Postby Kilkis » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:03 pm

Bad luck, Guy. Years ago I would have been caught up in it as well. At the moment I am not due to fly back to Gatwick until next October but, of course, it could happen anywhere.

Warwick

Clio
Posts: 1587
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:54 pm

Re: Gatwick Chaos

Postby Clio » Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:06 am

I stood in Marrakech airport on Thursday wishing fervently that I was going to be on the easyjet to Gatwick plane which was leaving just before my own UK flight. In the event I found myself in the unprecedented position of being grateful for Ryanair and Luton....

Kilkis
Posts: 10890
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Gatwick Chaos

Postby Kilkis » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:12 am

Chris Grayling being interviewed yesterday morning said: "There is no system for detecting drones that is licensed for use at airports". By the afternoon a radar system specifically for tracking drones had been installed. I suspect that it is a military system that MoD probably wouldn't allow to be deployed commercially but it took me 30 seconds to find this commercial solution. I don't know if it is licensed for use at airports but it is advertised for use at airports and BALPA have been warning the government about the threat from drones for at least 5 years and specifically about the type of activity occurring at Gatwick for 2 years. How long would it take to get a product licensed?

Grayling also said that the police couldn't try to shoot it down because of the risk of stray bullets hitting people. He said that where it had been tried thousands of rounds had been fired without success. Is he certifiable? Nobody is suggesting using an MP5 to shoot them down. It took me another 30 seconds to find this device and this one. Both use high power highly directional radio transmitters operating on the drone's control frequencies to disrupt the drone pilot's control signal. Either the drone lands where it is hovering or better still returns to its launch site.

Other systems both for tracking and for bringing down are available. It should be possible to integrate a radar tracking system with camera capability and a shoot down device into an automatic or semi-automatic system. I am pretty sure that QinetiQ would have all the technical skills to do this and, thinking of the vulnerability of UK bases in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, may have already done so. Apart from airports it could be deployed at other vulnerable sites, e.g. stopping drugs being delivered to prisons or explosives dropped on Westminster. Perhaps scrap that last one?

Enjoy your holiday Clio.

Warwick

Guy M
Posts: 495
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: Kalamitsi Alexandrou

Re: Gatwick Chaos

Postby Guy M » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:36 pm

Wel, of course in the end we breezed through Gatwick to Oslo and on to Chania without a problem. Don’t need to drone on abut airport delays. Ho ho ho. Happy Christmas.

PS Clio, I love Marrakech. Did you go over the Atlas Mountains to Taroudant, or west to Essaouira? Both worth a visit.

Kilkis
Posts: 10890
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Gatwick Chaos

Postby Kilkis » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:56 pm

Guy M wrote:Wel, of course in the end we breezed through Gatwick to Oslo and on to Chania without a problem...


Funny world we live in when the route is described as Gatwick to Oslo and on to Chania? Not exactly a great circle route? Glad you didn't get caught up in the chaos, Guy.

Warwick

Guy M
Posts: 495
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: Kalamitsi Alexandrou

Re: Gatwick Chaos

Postby Guy M » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:57 pm

The cheapest way to get here in December school hols. Costs more than the Easter and Summer trips combined. The man next to be at Gatwick was flying London-Oslo-Malaga. Mad.

Clio
Posts: 1587
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:54 pm

Re: Gatwick Chaos

Postby Clio » Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:07 pm

PS Clio, I love Marrakech. Did you go over the Atlas Mountains to Taroudant, or west to Essaouira?

Taroudant top of bucket list Guy, but even a brief trip to Marrakech, as this one was, has to include an Essaouira fix. I did one of those day excursions but was embarrassingly and puzzlingly late for early departure.
,
Eating lunch at, I thought, 2pm I was baffled to hear the call to prayer from the mosque. Afternoon prayers always at three. Check with waiter confirmed: my watch was an hour out. How so, when Morocco time always the same as Uk?

Internet check revealed that Morocco which has always changed clocks four times a year, for summer, winter and Ramadan, thus coinciding with GMT for holidays in winter which is when I go, is now on permanent unchanging daylight saving time.

As of last October, when the government announced it with just two days' notice, causing total confusion. Moblle phones couldn't cope and for 24 hours bot even Google knew what the right time was supposed to be.

To bring this back on topic, can you imagine any other country making such a cock-up of an important administrative measure?

Kilkis
Posts: 10890
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Gatwick Chaos

Postby Kilkis » Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:29 pm

Clio wrote:...To bring this back on topic, can you imagine any other country making such a cock-up of an important administrative measure?


I can think of one not a million miles from where I live?

Warwick


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