No-fly drone zone around airports to be extended, government confirms


From March 13, the no-fly zone for drones around airports will be extended to three miles.

The government confirmed that the current 0.6 mile exclusion zone will be increased, as a result of the disruption in December at Gatwick Airport following a number of reported drone sightings.

Secretary of state for transport, Chris Grayling MP, told the House of Commons in January that new drone laws will be introduced in the coming months.

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The government also said that police should also be given new stop and search powers to tackle drone misuse.

The powers, to be included in the government’s new Drones Bill, would also allow police to access electronic data stored on a drone.

Speaking to the BBC, The Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (Arpas UK), said: “Police will need to know exactly what the rules are and in exercising their powers do so in the right way.

“We are keen it doesn’t prevent legitimate operators from operating drones in a legitimate fashion.”

It is already illegal to fly a drone above 400ft or within 1km of an airport boundary.

In December, thousands of passengers were affected when ‘numerous reported drone sightings’ halted flights at Gatwick Airport.

George Rusu was charged in January for flying an aircraft near Heathrow airport in a separate incident, after being found to be flying a model aircraft 500 metres from the perimeter fence.

Tags : Gatwick Airportgovernmentheathrowno fly zone
Zoe Monk

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