Following the statement released by the Department for Transport earlier this week, Drone Defence got in touch with Commercial Drone Professional to give its response.
The statement from the DfT read:
“Following on from new laws last year restricting the use of drones and bringing forward a new drone-users register, today, the government also announced new legislation to extend the ‘no-fly’ zone around airports, banning drones from flying within 5km of runways.
The new exclusion zone will be increased by several kilometres, including banning drone flight within 5km of runway ends. The enlarged zone will better protect the UK’s airports from those misusing drones, and will come into force on 13 March 2019.”
In response to this, Drone Defence said its belief is as follows;
- Drones are fantastic tools when use responsibly, and most drone users do. The growth in commercial drone users gives a glimpse of the commercial benefits drones could have for our economy so a balance needs to be found where the industry is nurtured, and legitimate security concerns are met.
- Following the drone related disruption at Heathrow and Gatwick we welcome any legislation to improve airport safety and we understand the rationale behind these recent announcements.
- We do however have some concerns about the restrictions these new rules place on responsible drone users. For instance;
- The rules apply to all airfields, regardless of size and frequency of use;
- The rules apply to all drones, regardless or size or weight, and;
- The approvals process remains unclear.
- It is worth remembering that the recent drone disruption at Gatwick was already illegal so increasing restrictive legislation alone is not enough. We would advocate a more active approach where, not only airports, but prisons, power stations, festivals and football stadia are given the ability to protect themselves from potential drone related risks.