Dear Civil Aviation Authority,

Following the admission by the DfT that they hold no description of the Gatwick drone either appearance or behaviour, such as slow, fast, big, small, a colour, configuration etc could the CAA confirm if they hold any description of the alleged Gatwick drone.

If the CAA do hold such information could the CAA explain why that has failed to make it to the DfT and also detail what that description is. Note that the DfT have deemed the public interest to override national security regards the FoIA with regard to the description or absence of a description of the Gatwick drone.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

I Hudson

Civil Aviation Authority

Thank you for your enquiry to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

We aim to respond as soon as possible. In some cases, we will need to seek specialist advice or forward your enquiry onto the most relevant area of the CAA to respond to you directly. This can sometimes take up to 20 working days.

Privacy Notice:

You have consented to the use of your personal information to enable us to consider, investigate where necessary, and respond to your enquiry. We are committed to doing that in the most safe, efficient and proper way. You may withdraw consent at any time by emailing us at [CAA request email] . Depending on the nature of your enquiry, if you withdraw your consent we may still use your personal information to comply with our public function or our legal duty. A more comprehensive General Privacy Notice can be accessed further below.
Sometimes we may need to share your personal information with other organisations, such as when we need to investigate incidents with airlines or airports. In most cases we will be able to do this by removing your personal information. If the nature of the investigation means that we need to share your personal information we will obtain your consent beforehand. If you would prefer to make it known that you do not wish us to share your personal information, you can let us know straight away by emailing us at [CAA request email] .
Records of enquiries made to the CAA are retained for five years following a response or closure of a case or investigation, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as a legal or regulatory basis. We sometimes retain information for research or statistical purposes. If we do, we will make sure that your privacy is protected and only use it for those purposes.

Enquiries or complaints:

You can submit an information enquiry or make a complaint about how we have processed your personal information by emailing [CAA request email] . Please be aware that the CAA is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, which means we may need to release information you have supplied to us. However, we would never disclose your personal information without first obtaining your consent.

You have further rights as a data subject, which can be found here http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Informatio...

Contact details of the CAA’s Data Protection Officer can be found here http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Informatio...

You have a right to complain to the ICO here https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/your... about the CAA’s processing of personal data.

Our General Privacy Notice can be viewed at http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/About-us/G...

FOI Requests, Civil Aviation Authority

Thank you for your request for information which we shall respond to within 20 working days. The reference number is F0005278.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Requests, Civil Aviation Authority

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Hudson

 

Please find attached the CAA’s response to your request for information.

 

Kind regards

 

Mark Stevens
External Response Manager

Communications Department
Civil Aviation Authority

Follow us on Twitter: [1]@UK_CAA

 

At the CAA we respect agile working so, while it suits me to send this
now, I do not expect a  response or action outside of your own working
hours.

 

 

Please consider the environment. Think before printing this email.

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

Visible links
1. https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlo...

Dear Civil Aviation Authority,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Civil Aviation Authority's handling of my FOI request 'Description of the 2018 alleged Gatwick drone'.

Reference: F0005278

It is clear from requests in the public domain on sources such as Whatdotheyknow that the CAA is specifically saying its processes can't be used due to cost and difficulty when the subject matter is in relation to the alleged Gatwick drone, where other subject matters requiring the same steps and more work by the CAA are not being rejected. It's hard to come to any other conclusion that Section 12(1) of the FOIA, it's being used to specifically deflect FOIA requests on the subject of the Gatwick drone.

For example, the CAA had no objection to performing the a more complex request for information spanning months, with a subject that resulted in many e-mails: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Yet a request on Gatwick related e-mails goes rejected, in the same manner that this request has been.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/g...

Requests even asking for e-mails covering years have been completed without complaint by the CAA, yet a request for any information on an event that lasted less than 3 days over the Christmas period of 2018 is being rejected under the assertion you'd have too many e-mails about Gatwick completely unrelated to the incident which to be frank is ludicrous, especially given the airport was closed and any e-mails were almost certainly on the matter at hand.

This request wasn't even for e-mails, it was to ask if the CAA have any knowledge of what the alleged Gatwick drone looked like, this is without doubt the most significant drone incident in the CAA's history so it's beyond credibility that it's too difficult to contact the staff members who would have been tasked to deal with Gatwick and ask them if they have any knowledge of what the alleged drone looked like, and if so to reveal that information.

On the 18th May it was acknowledged that an FOIA that had requested years of e-mails to be searched hadn't used any fancy method such as a search of a server but was done by manually e-mailing staff, it went on to say "the amount of individuals who would reasonably be likely to hold information is relatively small" underlining the rejection for this request is being done on the subject matter alone and not the workload.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

To underline further why rejections of requests on the subject matter of the Gatwick drone under Section 12 are abhorrent, is that the DFT's FOIA replies show clearly, only one member of CAA staff was the communication lead for Gatwick and in the loop on the e-mails. If you e-mail David Miller (Counter-Drones Technical and Policy Lead) at the DfT he'll be able to disclose that exact staff member.

Their name is redacted on page 83 here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/6...

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Given the evidence here that the CAA were in the loop on Gatwick matters, that there was a specific communication lead, I would hope you will honour the spirit of the FOIA and answer what is a straight forward question.

Yours faithfully,

I Hudson

Civil Aviation Authority

Thank you for your enquiry to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

We aim to respond as soon as possible. In some cases, we will need to seek specialist advice or forward your enquiry onto the most relevant area of the CAA to respond to you directly. This can sometimes take up to 20 working days.

Privacy Notice:

You have consented to the use of your personal information to enable us to consider, investigate where necessary, and respond to your enquiry. We are committed to doing that in the most safe, efficient and proper way. You may withdraw consent at any time by emailing us at [CAA request email] . Depending on the nature of your enquiry, if you withdraw your consent we may still use your personal information to comply with our public function or our legal duty. A more comprehensive General Privacy Notice can be accessed further below.
Sometimes we may need to share your personal information with other organisations, such as when we need to investigate incidents with airlines or airports. In most cases we will be able to do this by removing your personal information. If the nature of the investigation means that we need to share your personal information we will obtain your consent beforehand. If you would prefer to make it known that you do not wish us to share your personal information, you can let us know straight away by emailing us at [CAA request email] .
Records of enquiries made to the CAA are retained for five years following a response or closure of a case or investigation, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as a legal or regulatory basis. We sometimes retain information for research or statistical purposes. If we do, we will make sure that your privacy is protected and only use it for those purposes.

Enquiries or complaints:

You can submit an information enquiry or make a complaint about how we have processed your personal information by emailing [CAA request email] . Please be aware that the CAA is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, which means we may need to release information you have supplied to us. However, we would never disclose your personal information without first obtaining your consent.

You have further rights as a data subject, which can be found here http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Informatio...

Contact details of the CAA’s Data Protection Officer can be found here http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Informatio...

You have a right to complain to the ICO here https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/your... about the CAA’s processing of personal data.

Our General Privacy Notice can be viewed at http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/About-us/G...

FOI Requests, Civil Aviation Authority

Dear Mr Hudson

 

I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this.

 

In the first instance the person to be contacted in relation to a review
is Caroline Chalk, Head of External Information Services. Rather than
initiating a full review of the CAA's previous response, Caroline asked me
if we could reconsider your request to see if there was a way we could
feasibly provide a more helpful response, even if it remains unfeasible to
conduct a complete search of all possible records.  I think that could be
possible, and I have outlined a suggested way forward below.

 

o We have recently received another request for emails containing the
words 'Gatwick' and 'Drone', during the period between 19 December
2018 and 31 January 2019. Our searches have returned a manageable
number of emails, which we are currently reviewing. To provide some
context to our original response, a similar search for either (rather
than both) words, for the same time period, returned 207,673 results.
o I have also approached a smaller number of key people (rather than
everyone who could hold relevant material) and asked them to review
the information they hold and to offer a view as to whether they may
hold anything of relevance (rather than asking them to review every
email that might be relevant to see if it contained a description of
the drone(s)).

 

While not a complete and comprehensive search, I think this would be a
realistic and proportionate way forward that ought to locate any
information, if held, within the scope of what you are looking for.

 

Finally, I note your comments below but comparing our response in this
instance to a previous response that related to Aintree and racehorses is
not a realistic comparison. While the Gatwick event only lasted a matter
of days, it was a major incident that caused the closure of the UK’s
second largest airport and the cancellation of hundreds of flights.  While
it was not the CAA’s role to identify and locate the drone(s), the CAA was
in liaison, at many different levels all the way up to Board level, with
various Government departments and other agencies, airlines, airports, the
media and affected passengers. In short, it dominated a large proportion
of the whole organisation’s work for a number of days, even after the
airport itself had reopened.

 

I hope the above is helpful and explains the way forward we are proposing,
but do let me know if you have any questions.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Mark Stevens
External Response Manager

Communications Department
Civil Aviation Authority

Follow us on Twitter: [1]@UK_CAA

 

At the CAA we respect agile working so, while it suits me to send this
now, I do not expect a  response or action outside of your own working
hours.

 

 

Please consider the environment. Think before printing this email.

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mark,

Regards F0005278 I'm happy with your suggested way forward.

While I accept the CAA likely had more comms than would have been typical over the few days of Gatwick, by the same token I think any staff member that had been told what the drone supposedly looked like would never forget that fact.

Given Gatwick has been used as an incident that is cited time and again since when matters of legislation or registration are discussed it's certainly not distant from people's minds. As the DfT have said they've not received any description it is potentially possible the CAA didn't either.

So I'm simply wanting a fair question to get a fair answer as the global drone community has been tarnished by the events of a few days but has been furnished with little to no credible information to evidence the presence of a drone.

It's notable that most evidence has come from the private sector such as Leonardo and Metis that suggests a drone wasn't present especially from the 20th. Leonardo have gone as far as admitting the airport itself was flying drones to test the C-UAS which proved the systems worked and could have also contributed to false positive sightings.

Regards,

Ian.

Civil Aviation Authority

Thank you for your enquiry to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

We aim to respond as soon as possible. In some cases, we will need to seek specialist advice or forward your enquiry onto the most relevant area of the CAA to respond to you directly. This can sometimes take up to 20 working days.

Privacy Notice:

You have consented to the use of your personal information to enable us to consider, investigate where necessary, and respond to your enquiry. We are committed to doing that in the most safe, efficient and proper way. You may withdraw consent at any time by emailing us at [CAA request email] . Depending on the nature of your enquiry, if you withdraw your consent we may still use your personal information to comply with our public function or our legal duty. A more comprehensive General Privacy Notice can be accessed further below.
Sometimes we may need to share your personal information with other organisations, such as when we need to investigate incidents with airlines or airports. In most cases we will be able to do this by removing your personal information. If the nature of the investigation means that we need to share your personal information we will obtain your consent beforehand. If you would prefer to make it known that you do not wish us to share your personal information, you can let us know straight away by emailing us at [CAA request email] .
Records of enquiries made to the CAA are retained for five years following a response or closure of a case or investigation, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as a legal or regulatory basis. We sometimes retain information for research or statistical purposes. If we do, we will make sure that your privacy is protected and only use it for those purposes.

Enquiries or complaints:

You can submit an information enquiry or make a complaint about how we have processed your personal information by emailing [CAA request email] . Please be aware that the CAA is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, which means we may need to release information you have supplied to us. However, we would never disclose your personal information without first obtaining your consent.

You have further rights as a data subject, which can be found here http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Informatio...

Contact details of the CAA’s Data Protection Officer can be found here http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Informatio...

You have a right to complain to the ICO here https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/your... about the CAA’s processing of personal data.

Our General Privacy Notice can be viewed at http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/About-us/G...

FOI Requests, Civil Aviation Authority

Dear Mr Hudson

 

Further to my email of 2 July, I am now able to provide you with the
outcome of our searches.

 

As I mentioned, we have recently received another request for emails
containing the words 'Gatwick' and 'Drone', during the period between 19
December 2018 and 31 January 2019.  We have now responded to that request,
and our response can be found at
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/g....
That search did not return any information that included a description of
the drone.

 

We also asked a small number of key people who were involved at the time
and asked them to review the information they hold and to offer a view as
to whether they may hold anything of relevance.  While this was not a
comprehensive search, none of them believe that they are likely hold
information relating to a description of the drone.  As I have mentioned
previously, the CAA’s primary concern, and the focus of our activity, was
to ensure that any risks to aviation activity were appropriately managed
by the airport, airlines and Air Navigation Service Providers. 

 

In conclusion, our searches have not located any information within the
scope of your request.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Mark Stevens
External Response Manager

Communications Department
Civil Aviation Authority

Follow us on Twitter: [2]@UK_CAA

 

At the CAA we respect agile working so, while it suits me to send this
now, I do not expect a  response or action outside of your own working
hours.

 

 

Please consider the environment. Think before printing this email.

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mark,

Please accept my sincere thanks for answering F0005278 in relation to the description of the alleged Gatwick drone, I appreciate the time and effort you've taken along with your colleagues.

Yours sincerely,

I Hudson

Civil Aviation Authority

Thank you for your enquiry to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

We aim to respond as soon as possible. In some cases, we will need to seek specialist advice or forward your enquiry onto the most relevant area of the CAA to respond to you directly. This can sometimes take up to 20 working days.

Privacy Notice:

You have consented to the use of your personal information to enable us to consider, investigate where necessary, and respond to your enquiry. We are committed to doing that in the most safe, efficient and proper way. You may withdraw consent at any time by emailing us at [CAA request email] . Depending on the nature of your enquiry, if you withdraw your consent we may still use your personal information to comply with our public function or our legal duty. A more comprehensive General Privacy Notice can be accessed further below.
Sometimes we may need to share your personal information with other organisations, such as when we need to investigate incidents with airlines or airports. In most cases we will be able to do this by removing your personal information. If the nature of the investigation means that we need to share your personal information we will obtain your consent beforehand. If you would prefer to make it known that you do not wish us to share your personal information, you can let us know straight away by emailing us at [CAA request email] .
Records of enquiries made to the CAA are retained for five years following a response or closure of a case or investigation, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as a legal or regulatory basis. We sometimes retain information for research or statistical purposes. If we do, we will make sure that your privacy is protected and only use it for those purposes.

Enquiries or complaints:

You can submit an information enquiry or make a complaint about how we have processed your personal information by emailing [CAA request email] . Please be aware that the CAA is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, which means we may need to release information you have supplied to us. However, we would never disclose your personal information without first obtaining your consent.

You have further rights as a data subject, which can be found here http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Informatio...

Contact details of the CAA’s Data Protection Officer can be found here http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Informatio...

You have a right to complain to the ICO here https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/your... about the CAA’s processing of personal data.

Our General Privacy Notice can be viewed at http://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/About-us/G...