Today, a pair of suspects who were arrested in the Gatwick Airport drone probe have been released without charges.
Yesterday, a 54-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man from Crawley were arrested by Sussex Police on suspicion of “the criminal use of drones” near the Gatwick airfield last Wednesday and Thursday.
Over 140,000 passengers were affected by the delays and cancellations to approximately 1,000 flights as a consequence of the drone activity. It has since caused chaos at the second largest airports of the United Kingdom amidst the busy Christmas travel season.
In a statement that was released today, Jason Tingley, the detective chief superintendent of Sussex Police, stated: “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.”
He added: “Our inquiry continues at a pace to locate those responsible for the drone incursions, and we continue to actively follow lines of investigation.”
Tingley also informed Sky News that Sussex Police had discovered “a damaged drone” near the airfield. He said that they would be exploring the matter further using forensic investigation.
This week, te runway of Gatwick remained closed for over 36 hours after some drones were spotted near the airfield last Wednesday night and then again on various occasions.
Every time the airport attempted to re-open the runway, the drones would return. No flights took off over the said period, and all of the incoming flights were diverted to some other airports. Some flights were even forced to land outside the United Kingdom, including in the Netherlands and France.
Last Thursday night, over 20 police units were searching for the drone operators, with the army later being called in to use so-called drone-killer techniques that were utilised in modern warfare.
Gatwick Airport has offered a reward amounting to £50,000 through Crimestoppers for anyone that has the information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the drone operators who are responsible for the disruption.
The airport said that the flights were operating as normal today, however, it said that the “knock on effect” of the probe is still present. It recommended that the travellers should check the status of their flight with their airline prior to travelling.