New H&S Laws On Drones


drones in the sky

Pilots have welcomed a Government announcement to bring forward new legislation to increase drone no-fly zones around airports from the current 1km to 5km radius

Following on from new laws last year restricting the use of drones and also introducing a drone-users’ register, the Government has announced legislation to extend the “no-fly” zone around airports, banning drones from flying within 5km of runways.

The new exclusion zone has effectively been increased by several kilometres, including banning drone flight within 5km of runway ends. The legislation will come into force on 13 March 2019.

Work to progress a new Drones Bill is also underway and will be introduced in due course. It will give police officers powers to stop and search people suspected of using drones maliciously above 400ft or within 5km of an airport — helping them to tackle disruption such as that seen at Gatwick in December 2018.

Furthermore, the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have announced a partnership with the retailer Jessops, as part of a national campaign to increase public awareness of the rules around flying drones. The campaign will help educate the public about responsible drone use.

Commenting on the plans, Dr Rob Hunter, Head of Flight safety at the British Airline Pilots’ Association, said, “We are pleased that the Government is bringing forward legislation to increase the drone no fly zone around airports from the current 1km to 5km radius.

“This increase is what we’ve been calling for in order to ensure there is a safe separation between commercial aircraft and legal drone operations. This, along with the introduction of suitable detection measures, represents a significant improvement to the safety of manned aircraft around airports.”


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