London Airport Police Give Drones Official Surveillance Job

By Gary Cutlack on at

Counter-terrorism bosses have approved the use of drones to monitor security at London airports from above, with Heathrow, Stansted, Luton and City airports set to launch the smaller-than-usual fleet of miniature aircraft before the end of 2016.

Staff from the the National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters gave the move its approval following a series of successful trials at Gatwick. No drones were sucked into jet engines and no one died, so it's all go. Some other UK airports will be added to the test programme soon too, with the plan being to have aerial defences orbiting a few of the UK's most critical airports within the next 18 months.

The idea is that they'll be used by police monitoring the exterior of airports, so they'll probably end up doing mundane aerial paperwork like scanning numberplates and keeping an eye on traffic.

The BBC report also says that the police will soon begin investigating general complaints of dodgy and dangerous use of drones out there in the real world by us lot, taking the task away from the Civil Aviation Authority -- presumably because there's now way too many amateur drone enthusiasts bothering our national landmarks for the CAA to cope with. [BBC]