image source, image caption Flights to Gatwick were severely disrupted by the drone incident
Scientists believe they have developed a system to prevent drones fromdisrupt major airports.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge say a combination of statistical techniques and radar data can predict wh ether, a drone intends to enter the restricted airspace.
Airports can then concentrate their responses.
An alert at Gatwick Airport in December 2018 resulted in the disruption of around 1,000 flights.
Dr Bashar Ahmad, who carried out the research in the engineering department at the University of Cambridge, said: "Although we are not entirely sure What happened at Gatwick, the incident highlighted the potential risk drones can pose to the public if misused, either maliciously or completely innocently.
"It is crucial for future drone surveillance systems tosee predictive capabilities to reveal, as early as possible, a drone with malicious intent or abnormal behavior. "
No one has ever been prosecuted for the Gatwick incident, which has affected Christmas plans of around 140,000 passengers.
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