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Drone operator unsure of Gatwick drone incident

 Published on: 14th January 2019   |   By: Jason Allen   |   Category: Uncategorized

A commercial drone operator from Radlett said he was unsure of whether a drone was involved in the Gatwick delays last month.

Gatwick was repeatedly forced to close between 19 and 21 December due to reported drone sightings, affecting about 1,000 flights. 

However, commercial drone operator Martin Jenman, from Beech Avenue, Radlett is unsure of whether it really was a drone causing the disruptions. 

He said: “The police still aren’t able to confirm if it actually was a drone because they never found it. Some of the drone spottings were actually supposedly their own.

“I was very surprised when I heard about it, mainly because of how long it lasted. A drone battery tends to only last around half an hour, unless you have more than one.

“So this drone owner would have needed a tonne of batteries, and batteries are far from cheap. They are hundreds and hundreds, so that’s another reason why I’m not sure. If it’s a drone, then the incident is unprecedented.

“It’s interesting to hear what the government are saying. They’re saying they can’t talk about it for ‘security reasons’ – I’d like to know what that means, because there really are question marks.” 

The Gatwick incident led to the government announcing legislation could be tightened on drone flyers, and despite Martin’s views on the Gatwick incident itself, he thinks the changes could be for the best.

He said: “The changes aren’t as drastic as I thought they’d be, and there’s always going to be those who keep the rules and people who break them, but the changes needed to happen and for those who stick to rules, it won’t be a problem.”

Martin’s company, NexJen Drone Solutions, specialises in aerial photography using drones.

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