Don't blame the drone. Unbelievably, despite this being the modern surveillance era, we still don't have a unified air traffic control system for drones and unmanned aircraft. Simply encouraging private operators to share data and submit flight plans would help authorities enormously in terms of understanding who is flying in the airspace and when. By definition, those that would not be identified would be considered hostile or potentially rogue.
In the case of Gatwick and Heathrow, an enormous amount of time would have been spared if we had simply understood where these drones were coming from and if they were hostile to begin with. But ultimately, we're going to have to create a system like this anyway. If drone space is to be commercialised, we need to understand the airspace.
That means urgently, private entities and regulators and officials are going to have to act together to create a system that is universally understood and compliant with regulations as they stand. The UK already has a huge opportunity to become a global leader here. It already requires commercial operators to submit their details into a register.
That data can then be used by authorities on an on-demand basis. If the UK can establish a standard here, then it can become a global leader in this space. What is clear is that now is the time to do so.