Confirmation of the DfT's view of the Incursion dates for the alleged Gatwick drones

The request was successful.

Dear Department for Transport,

Previous FOI requests have shown that the DfT received correspondence from Gatwick Airport and police authorities with sightings of the alleged Gatwick drone on the 19th, 20th and 21st December 2018. These sightings were deemed genuine enough at the time to close the airport for periods.

1) Does the DfT to this day consider the alleged Gatwick drone to have performed flights on the 19th, 20th and 21st December? If not what is the final date the DfT consider as the last valid incursion? If this is before the 21st December does that mean with hindsight the airport was closed unnecessarily for some periods?

2) The description of the alleged Gatwick drone was industrial sized, could the DfT confirm if that description was determined at the first sighting on the 19th?

Yours faithfully,

I Hudson

Department for Transport

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which
has been allocated reference number P0019476.

A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Department for Transport
FOI Advice Team
Governance Division
Zone D/04
Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

show quoted sections

David Miller2, Department for Transport

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Hudson,

 

Many thanks for your FOI request of 10 February 2021. Please see attached
to this email my response on behalf of the Department for Transport.

 

Best regards,

 

David Miller

 

[1][IMG]          David Miller2 
Counter-Drones Technical and Policy Lead, Aviation
Directorate 

4/07, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR  
[2]Follow us on twitter @transportgovuk 

 

show quoted sections

Dear David Miller,

Thank you for your response to FOI P0019476, I appreciate the fact you've answered the questions albeit I'd like to clarify the response.

Given you've said that there was no description recorded with the DfT of the alleged Gatwick drone being industrial sized, it seems the media were given that description but the DfT wasn't given the same detail. Could you confirm if there's ever been any description given of the Gatwick drone to the DfT such as size, colour or configuration, e.g. industrial, large, small, fast, slow, quad, hex etc?

Given you've clearly got an idea of the dates the drone was reported as seen, can provide the rough time/dates you're aware of, if you'd prefer me to make this request as a separate FOI then let me know and I'll be fine with that.

Yours sincerely,

I Hudson

Dear David Miller,

As a follow up to FOI P001947, just to clarify as Sussex Police's Tweet of the time was "industrial specification" I take it that description wasn't communicated either by direct channels to the DfT?

Obviously to be industrial specification it would have to be a sizeable drone but just want to be sure we're not splitting hairs over the words sized and specification?

Yours sincerely,

I Hudson

Department for Transport

Dear I Hudson,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which
has been allocated reference number P0019542.

A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock
Department for Transport
FOI Advice Team
Governance Division
Zone D/04
Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

show quoted sections

David Miller2, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Hudson,

Thanks for the further questions below. I have allocated this as a separate FOI with a reference F0019542 and I will respond on this in due course.

With regards to your other email on 9 March, the search was completed on the basis of a description as an "industrial sized" drone.

Best regards,
David

David Miller2 | Counter-Drones Technical and Policy Lead, Aviation Directorate, Department for Transport

show quoted sections

Ben Jones1, Department for Transport

[1]Extension of time: public interest test

Dear Mr. Hudson,

 

The Department needs more time to carry out a public interest test.

 

The FOI Act requires us to respond to requests no later than 20 working
days from receipt.  However, where a complex public interest test needs to
be carried out the deadline can be extended by a further 20 working days.
The deadline for answering your request is being extended for this
reason. 

 

The exemption that applies is section 24(1) - National Security.

 

We plan to let you have a response by 7 May 2021.  If there is a need for
additional time we will keep you informed.     

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications. 

  

Yours sincerely, 

 

Ben

 

Benjamin Jones | Aviation Security Policy, Department for Transport

 

 

show quoted sections

David Miller2, Department for Transport

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Hudson,

 

Freedom of Information Act request – F0019542

 

Thank you for your request dated 9 March 2021. I am pleased to include the
Department for Transport’s response attached to this email.

 

Best regards,

 

David Miller

 

[1][IMG]          David Miller2 
Counter-Drones Technical and Policy Lead, Aviation
Directorate 

4/07, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR  
[2]Follow us on twitter @transportgovuk 

 

show quoted sections

Dear David Miller,

Thank you for the transparent response to FOI F0019542 it is appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

I Hudson