Damaged drone found near Gatwick airport after flights chaos

Drone disruptions affected 150,000 passengers

By CNN'S LIVVY DOHERTY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

An aircraft comes in to land as the runway is reopened at Gatwick Airport on December 21, 2018 in London, England.

(CNN) - A damaged drone has been found near Gatwick Airport, police said Sunday following widespread disruption due to drone incursions.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said the drone was discovered in Horley, near the airport's perimeter.

"Obviously we will be doing everything we can with regards to forensically examining that drone and that is something that is being fast-tracked and expedited," he told CNN.

Earlier Sunday, two people arrested near Gatwick were released without charge. Tingley said in a statement: "Both people have fully co-operated with our inquiries and I am satisfied that they are no longer suspects in the drone incidents at Gatwick."

The 47-year-old man and 54-year-old woman were arrested Saturday in Crawley -- the closest major town to the airport.

"It is important to remember that when people are arrested in an effort to make further inquiries it does not mean that they are guilty of an offense and Sussex Police would not seek to make their identity public," Tingley said.

A number of UK newspapers named the couple.

Gatwick Airport has offered a £50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the drones that disrupted flights for two days affecting about 150,000 passengers.

The incident revealed how vulnerable the UK airport system is to disruption and even attacks by drones.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, UK security minister Ben Wallace said al Qaeda, the terror group behind the 9/11 attacks, was plotting to carry out new atrocities against airports and airliners.

The newspaper quoted security sources saying sketches of drones designed to deliver bombs were discovered during a recent terrorist investigation in the UK.

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