A DRONE expert has claimed that the closure of Gatwick Airport has nothing to do with an errant drone but is in fact either a UFO or a conspiracy hatched in order to ban drone use once and for all.
The editor of Drone User magazine, Steve Timewell, made the astonishing claims on TalkRadio this afternoon. The drone efficianado said: “The sensationalist media love this type of story. And who knows – it could be a conspiracy to force the total banning of all drones.
Radio host Jamie East paused for a moment, as if struggling to know how to respond.
He began slowly: “Gatwick airport would shut down for a day just to get rid of drones?”
Mr Timewell continued: “The first thing we need to clarify in this situation is if this test incident is an alleged drone incident.
“As with all drone reports, we’ve yet to see any photographic evidence of a drone involved.”
Mr East questioned: “What else could it be?”
His guest explained: “So basically, at the moment, this is a UFO sighting which is an unidentified flying object and it should be described as that until we know otherwise.
“It could be a carrier bag with lights on, who knows?”
Mr East didn’t look entirely convinced by this suggestion.
But his guest used his own logic to unravel the situation: “There are two types of drone user – the first is the type that sees the benefit of drones and uses them responsibly.
“The second one is the person who buys a cheap diesel drone off eBay and just flies it wherever he likes.
“However, no matter how stupid this person is, I don’t believe that they would fly it over Gatwick Airport.
“So basically, this is either a deliberate attempt to cause disruption to the airport or a deliberate attempt to discredit drones.”
Gatwick Airport: The Sussex airport has been closed for over 24 hours after a drone was spotted over (Image: getty)
Gatwick Airport has been closed after drones flew over the runway forcing all flights in and out to be suspended, leaving hundreds and thousands of travellers hoping to get away for Christmas stranded.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman stated that those flying the drones were “irresponsible and completely unacceptable” and voiced sympathy for people having their travel plans upset just days before Christmas.
Theresa May herself later made a statement saying: “I feel for all those passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted by this drone activity and the action that has had to be taken in response to it. At this particular time of year this is particularly difficult for people.
“We have already passed legislation in relation to the use of drones. As it has been made clear, the activity we have seen is illegal and those who are caught endangering aircraft can face up to five years in prison. And we’re consulting on further aspects of this including further police powers.
“We will continue to work with the Gatwick authorities in order to bring this to a close such that people will be able to get on to the travel that they were expecting over the Christmas.”
Police say they are considering trying to shoot down the drone that has shut Gatwick Airport for more than 24 hours.
Sussex Police has received about 50 reports of a drone being flown around the airport since Wednesday evening.
Det Ch Supt Jason Tingley said shooting the drone was discounted earlier but is a “tactical option” and something which is being “continually reviewed”.
“We have got some estimations around the size of the drone, what it looks like.
“We haven’t yet identified the specific make and model of the drone. That will influence our tactical options.”
“We have a number of persons of interest that we are following up.
“We are following all lines of inquiry and that would include particular groups.
“The military are here completely as a supportive role, it’s a police lead investigation and operation, and they are here to provide that additional support.
“We have to work on the assumption that this is a professionally prepared drone with the intent of causing the disruption that it has.”
An Easyjet spokesperson said: “We are making every effort to get people to their destination at this important time of the year, but following reports of drones flying over Gatwick Airport, the runway remains closed and all flights are currently suspended.”