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23rd Dec 2018

Police ‘cannot discount the possibility’ that there might have been no Gatwick drone at all

James Dawson

A spokesperson for the force has confirmed that there may not have actually been any drone

Police have confirmed that they are not ruling out the possibility there was no drone at Gatwick airport, despite sightings leading to widespread disruption at the UK’s second biggest airport.

The statement by the police comes after a 47-year-old man and 54-year-old woman, from Crawley, West Sussex, were ruled out as suspected after they were arrested on Friday.

Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley, of Sussex police, told the BBC there was “a working assumption” the device could be connected to their investigation, however officers were keeping “an open mind”.

“We are also going through many reports of sightings of drone activity over the last few days,” he said.

“We are meticulously going through that information to see if that produces any other further lines of inquiry, and also where we may focus our efforts in terms of house-to-house inquiries, CCTV footage, and any other information that will help us work through this investigation.”

He added there was “always a possibility that there may not have been any genuine drone activity in the first place.”

“Of course, that’s a possibility. We are working with human beings saying they have seen something,” he continued.

“Until we’ve got more clarity around what they’ve said, the detail – the time, place, direction of travel, all those types of things – and that’s a big task.”

Over 1,000 flights were cancelled or diverted and at least 140,000 passengers were affected between Wednesday and Friday.

Gatwick Airport Limited is offering a £50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for disrupting flights.

If you have any information please contact Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their anonymous online form at Crimestoppers website.