back to article EasyJet boss says pre-Chrimbo Gatwick drone chaos cost it £15m

The boss of Squeezyjet Easyjet is "disappointed" by the time it took London's Gatwick Airport to overcome the drone crisis that led to multiple flight cancellations and cost the budget airliner £15m. EasyJet today released Q1 financials for the three months to 31 December, which show the impact of the closure in late December …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But he was less positive about Gatwick Airport's reactions, saying that he was "disappointed it took such a long time" to resolve and to get the right equipment in place.

    That's because everyone thought that legislation was the way to fix it, so nobody had thought to ask the question "what happens if someone ignores the law", and actually put in place some concrete methods of dealing with the problem.

    Also of course, it may be that there were no actual drones used in the shut down of Gatwick, just a number of phone calls?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      So what happens if somebody sees a bird near an airport ?

      No planes have been brought down by drones, not even clear that a plane has ever hit a drone.

      Birds on the other hand are now possibly THE major cause of crashes for large aircraft (at least those operated by legit airlines outside warzones)

      1. Jim Mitchell Silver badge

        That bird strikes are a major cause of "large aircraft" crashes is easily refutable, please post your research showing otherwise.

      2. jake Silver badge

        "Birds on the other hand are now possibly THE major cause of crashes for large aircraft"

        This document says you are very, very wrong.

        For the "no feelthy PDFs" set, the last paragraph on page 7 includes:

        "Interestingly, with all the recent attention and concern given to bird strikes in the United States, of the 700 commercial passenger fatality accidents worldwide in the 1990 through 2006 period, only six, less than one percent, were due to animal strikes."

        Pilot error (40%) and equipment failure (23%) comprised the bulk of the fatal accidents covered in the paper.

        1. Spazturtle

          "Pilot error (40%) and equipment failure (23%) comprised the bulk of the fatal accidents covered in the paper."

          And many of those 'pilot errors' were "Well I know all 4 engines exploded but he should have known how to recover from that so we are going to say the cause of the crash was pilot error".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          But this is looking at crashes with fatalities, rather than incidents which can ground a plane while it is repaired (which birds and drones would likely cause).

          1. jake Silver badge

            "incidents which can ground a plane while it is repaired"

            Those are called "landings". Ask any experienced pilot, a landing is anything you walk away from. And no, I'm not being flippant.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > So what happens if somebody sees a bird near an airport ?

        You could have just asked the question and saved the snarkiness, and that's leaving aside your absence of familiarity with the subject at hand.

        Birdstrike is a well controlled risk for which we have numerous mitigation measures, going from the aeroplanes actually being certified to withstand birdstrikes (e.g., windscreens will not shatter and single bird ingestion will not cause an uncontained engine failure or structural compromise), to bird control measures in and near airports (e.g., by vegetation management, use of trained falcons), to monitoring (e.g., large or unusual concentrations may be NOTAMed, or the airport even closed), to long-term study of bird populations and behaviour.

        Similar measures are only incipient when it comes to UAVs.

        And btw, the leading cause of aviation accidents is human error, i.e., people like me screwing up and other people not realising before it's too late.

        Edited to add: I have two known birdstrikes under my belt so far. No damage.

    2. Knoydart

      How to cause chaos with minimal effort

      Will reporting drones near airports become the new swatting?

  2. Joefish

    £10m In Customer Welfare Costs?

    "EasyJet calculated the drone debacle had cost it ... £10m in customer welfare costs".

    And how much of this ten million quid actually reached the affected customers?

    Perhaps someone could investigate? Anyone know a good journalist?

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: £10m In Customer Welfare Costs?

      I imagine that most of it went on hotels, taxis etc.

    2. ElRegoColombia

      Re: £10m In Customer Welfare Costs?

      Worded carefully. 'Welfare' != Compo

      Welfare = hotels, meals, drinks and probably includes airline staff to coordinate 400 flights worth of passengers receiving the welfare

  3. jake Silver badge

    Methinks that the drones that shutdown Gatwick were ...

    ... not in the air. Rather, they were in Management.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody Foreigners

    Coming over here, tekkin' our landing slots.

    Send 'em back to where they come from. (Austria.)

  5. TechDrone

    I'm he was

    And I'm sure the thousands who's flights were cancelled were pretty disappointed too. And suing Gatwick will really help the improve the situation, although I'd be delighted if Easyjet had any brilliant plans about how to catch those responsible.

    Idea: Work out how much you'd spend on lawyers, and offer that as a reward for information leading to prosecutions? Possibly adding a few £100,000 to the bounty might make a difference?

  6. Alistair

    ..... Somewhere, deep in the heart of England, there is a polyethylene prop, popped up from under the instrument panel, gently waving in the breeze from the damaged cockpit window, and a fellow named Victor asking Clarence why Gatwick wont give him clearance to land.

    "Dammit Clarence, its just a $#%@#% drone, all I need is clearance to land......"

  7. Anonymous Coward

    London's Gatwick Airport drone crisis

    Seems to be yet another example of no organization or the one individual who would take responsibility for the drone crisis. Similarly, try and contact an organization and get something done. There is only a generic email or a "team" contact phone number. Phone the number and you get an answering machine that directs you to a website that directs you to the exact same phone number.

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