Britain to expand drone exclusion zone after Gatwick chaos


FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling arrives in Downing Street, London, Britain, December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will extend a drone exclusion zone five-fold and give police new powers against lawbreaking operators, the government said on Monday, after sightings last month paralysed the nation’s second busiest airport.

The changes announced in parliament by the transport minister, Chris Grayling, followed pre-Christmas disruption at Gatwick airport where drone flyovers led to 1,000 flight cancellations affecting 140,000 passengers.

The military was drafted in to help.

“The disruption caused by drones to flights at Gatwick airport last month was deliberate, irresponsible and calculated, as well as illegal,” Grayling told parliament.

The Ministry of Defence remained on standby to deal with any further problems at Gatwick or any other airport, he added.

The government said the drone exclusion zone around airports would be extended to about 5 km (3 miles) — with additional extensions at runway ends — from 1 km now.

Grayling said the government would also begin testing the use of counter-drone technology as part of its response to a consultation begun before December’s disruption.

Reporting by William James and Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Andrew Cawthorne

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

‘Game of Thrones’ leaves fans sad, mad and wanting more
Canadian Senate committee passes 187 amendments to energy project bill
IMO agrees on stricter efficiency targets for some ships
Meghan, wife of Prince Harry, gave birth at private London hospital
Asian shares steady after steep losses; Saudi comments lift oil

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *