New 'smart drones' immune to military jamming tools could soon wreak havoc at UK airports
NEW "smart drones" could soon wreak havoc at UK airports as they are immune to military jamming tools.
The drones are not linked to a control room and can function without an operator, making them almost impossible to stop.
Some companies have already made orders for the drones, as they could be beneficial during disaster relief programmes, in difficult to access areas.
But experts fear airports across the country will face their "worst nightmare", if the new drones reach the hands of criminals or terrorists.
Former Royal Marine sniper Aldo Kane outlines the threats of the new technology on the BBC programme, 'Britain's Next Air Disaster? Drones'.
He said: "The options that you can use this technology for going forward are unbelievable.
"But ultimately this sort of technology gets into the wrong hands, then potentially that can be an airport's worse, worse nightmare."
'THEY'RE HERE TO STAY'
Gatwick Airport has installed high-tech detection systems costing around £5million, following last December's havoc.
The airport was brought to a standstill over reported drone sightings before the festive season.
It forced the cancellation of 1,000 flights and affecting at least 140,000 passengers.
The anti-drone equipment remained at the airport until march.
The technology allows officials to detect drones, and disable them from operating with jamming radio signals.
But whether they're deemed good or bad, Kane insists "they are here to stay".
News of the "smart drones" come after it was revealed there were 125 encounters between drones and aircraft's last year, according to the UK Airprox board.
Leaders from the British Airline Pilots' Association warned the number of incidents could be higher, as pilots wouldn't report near-misses.
Gatwick and Heathrow are said to be investing millions of pounds into their systems to prevent future flight disruption.
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An MOD spokesperson said: "We work across government and with industry and international partners to identify and plan for new technologies entering the market.
'This includes ensuring the appropriate legislative and policing powers are in place to combat potential drone threats."
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