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Drones halt London Gatwick flights

LONDON: Passengers flying via London Gatwick will face at least another 24 hours of disruption after several drone sightings forced Britain’s second busiest airport to shut its runway, causing delays to thousands of Christmas travellers. Authorities at Gatwick halted flights at 2200 GMT on Wednesday after two drones were spotted flying near its airfield. Police said they believed the actions were deliberate and more than 20 units were searching for the drone operators on Thursday, when the airport had expected to…

Trump to boost exports of lethal drones to more US allies

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump will soon make it easier to export some types of lethal US-made drones to potentially dozens more allies and partners, according to people familiar with the plan. Trump is expected to ease rules for such foreign sales under a long-delayed new policy on unmanned military aircraft due to be rolled out as early as this month, the first phase of a broader overhaul of arms export regulations. US drone manufacturers, facing growing competition overseas especially from Chinese and Israeli…

Cameroon startup launches drones for global market

YAOUNDE, Cameroon: Talking fast and dreaming big, William Elong shows off the first "made in Cameroon" drone at his sixth-floor workshop in downtown Douala, minutes from the economic capital's Atlantic seafront. The 25-year-old, known as a high-flyer after being named one of Forbes' most promising young Africans under 30, is enthusing about his new unmanned aerial drones and keen to promote his company and Africa as a place where IT and new tech can flourish. We must "get out of the Afro-centric vision of business" to…

Fighter jets, drones on table as Mattis visits key ally India

WASHINGTON: Fighter jets, drone deals and shared concerns over Afghanistan's security look set to dominate the agenda when US Defense Secretary James Mattis visits India this week. Mattis is scheduled to arrive late Monday and is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his new defence minister, in the first visit by a top US official since Donald Trump became president in January. "The United States views India as a valued and influential partner, with broad mutual interests extending well beyond South Asia," a…

Shark-detecting drones to patrol Australian beaches

SYDNEY: Drones equipped with a shark detection system powered by artificial intelligence will start patrolling some Australian beaches from next month in a bid to improve safety. The battery-powered drones will provide a live-video feed to a drone operator who then uses the shark-spotting software to identify sharks in real time and with more accuracy than the human eye. Studies have shown that people have a 20-30 percent accuracy rate when interpreting data from aerial images to detect shark activity. Detection…

US Army halts use of Chinese-made drones

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Army has ordered its members to stop using drones made by Chinese manufacturer SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd because of "cyber vulnerabilities" in the products. An Aug. 2 Army memo posted online and verified by Reuters applies to all DJI drones and systems that use DJI components or software. It requires service members to "cease all use, uninstall all DJI applications, remove all batteries/storage media and secure equipment for follow-on direction." The memo says DJI drones are the most widely used by…

Dos, don’ts and geo-fencing: Europe proposes rules for small drones

Europe's aviation safety authorities have proposed rules for operating small drones that include requirements for geo-fencing technology to prevent them from straying into banned areas and a "dos and don'ts" leaflet to be inserted in retail packaging. With demand booming, both for hobby and commercial use, European regulators have been looking for ways to ensure drones can be safely operated, while allowing the industry to grow. Fears have been raised over the use of drones near airports in particular, with a number of…