Detection systems are now able to be deployed across the UK to combat the threat of drones, ministers have announced.
Security minister Ben Wallace said there was no easy solution to tackling drone incursions but warned those using them “recklessly” or illegally can expect severe punishments.
His comments come after around 1,000 flights affecting some 140,000 passengers were cancelled or diverted across three days after drones were spotted inside the perimeter Gatwick airport on Wednesday.
In a statement on Monday, Wallace said the Government was now able to deploy detection systems throughout the UK to combat the threat.
He added: “The huge proliferation of such devices, coupled with the challenges of deploying military counter measures into a civilian environment, means there are no easy solutions.
“However, I can say that we are able to now deploy detection systems throughout the UK to combat this threat.”
Police arrested Paul Gait and Elaine Kirk but the pair were released without charge following two nights in custody, with police saying they were no longer suspects.
Speaking outside their home in Crawley, West Sussex, on Monday, an emotional Gait said the couple were “deeply distressed” by the experience.
The 47-year-old told reporters: “As you can probably imagine we are feeling completely violated.
“Our home has been searched and our privacy and identity completely exposed.
“Our names, photos and other personal information have been broadcast throughout the world.”
Gait said he and Kirk, 54, would try to get through Christmas “as best we can”.
There had been more than 200 sightings since the first drone was spotted in the Gatwick area on Wednesday, with police taking 67 statements, including from officers and airport staff.
Police are also carrying out a forensic investigation of a damaged drone found near the airport perimeter, close to the last reported sighting.
Detectives and the Home Office were said to be…