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No fly zones around airports are extended to three miles after drone chaos

No fly zones around airports are extended to three miles after drone chaos – as police gain new stop and search powers to tackle rogue pilots

  • Ministers will announce new plans to tackle rogue drones and model aircraft
  • The current 1km (0.6 miles) ‘no fly zone’ around runways will be extended to 5km 
  • The limit, which air traffic controllers insist is needed to prevent collisions with passenger jets, will be introduced on March 13

Hundreds of thousands of people living near airports are to be banned from flying drones at home, ministers will announce today.

Alongside plans for new ‘stop and search’ powers to tackle pilots of rogue drones and model aircraft, the current 1km (0.6 miles) ‘no fly zone’ around runways will be extended to 5km – just over three miles.

The limit, which air traffic controllers insist is needed to prevent collisions with passenger jets, will be introduced on March 13. Those who ignore it will face up to five years in jail.

Alongside plans for new ‘stop and search’ powers to tackle pilots of rogue drones and model aircraft, the current 1km (0.6 miles) ‘no fly zone’ around runways will be extended to 5km – just over three miles (stock image)

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will say: ‘The law is clear that flying a drone near an airport is a serious criminal act.

‘We’re now going even further and extending the no-fly zone to help keep our airports secure and our skies safe.

‘We are also working to raise awareness of the rules in place.

Sajid Javid will unveil plans to let police stop and search drone pilots thought to be targeting airports and prisons

Sajid Javid will unveil plans to let police stop and search drone pilots thought to be targeting airports and prisons

‘Anyone flying their drone within the vicinity of an airport should know they are not only acting irresponsibly, but criminally, and could face imprisonment.’ 

Home Secretary Sajid Javid will unveil plans to let police stop and search drone pilots thought to be targeting airports and prisons. This follows the recent drone incursions at Gatwick and Heathrow which grounded flights and caused chaos for passengers. 

The Government has also partnered with a major retailer in a bid to reduce drone misuse.

Jessops has pledged to ensure it tells customers about the latest rules around flying drones.

Concern about their misuse has grown after sightings of the devices caused flights to be grounded over 36 hours at Gatwick Airport in the run-up to Christmas.

There were 125 near misses between drones and aircraft reported in 2018, up 34% on the total of 93 during the previous year.

Just six incidents were recorded in 2014.

Ian Savage, head of retail and academy training at Jessops, said: ‘Along with the pleasure drones bring comes a responsibility for the user to ensure they are flying their drone safely and legally.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will say: 'The law is clear that flying a drone near an airport is a serious criminal act'

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will say: ‘The law is clear that flying a drone near an airport is a serious criminal act’

‘As one of the leading drone retailers, Jessops is committed to ensuring it communicates the new laws to all its customers.’

The Government is working on a new Drones Bill which will give police officers powers to stop and search people suspected of using drones maliciously above 400ft or within five kilometres of an airport

It will also give forces the power to access electronic data stored on a drone with a warrant. 

From November 30 the owners of drones which weigh between 250g and 20kg will be required to register their devices, and drone pilots will have to pass an online safety test.

The Civil Aviation Authority’s code of conduct, the Dronecode, sets out existing rules for drone users, including staying below 400 feet and flying at least 50 metres away from buildings and people.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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