It'll Soon Be Illegal to Fly a Drone Within Three Miles of an Airport

By Holly Brockwell on at

The government has announced that it'll be illegal to faff about with drones within a three-mile radius of UK airports, after some plonker at Gatwick messed up everyone's holidays.

At the moment, there's a 0.6-mile no-fly zone for drones, but that's clearly not enough. The government is also mulling giving the police more powers to stop and search people they suspect of planning drone shenanigans (anyone with a YouTube channel should be stopped by default, then).

Drone manufacturer DJI also recently announced it's updating its geofencing software to keep its drones away from airports.

The trouble with drones is that they're really hard to stop. They're small, nimble, and unpredictable -- and there's often no indication of where the person controlling them is. Taking them down often involves a bigger drone and a massive net, although we reckon this could be a legitimate use for Boris's wasted water cannons.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling comments:

"The law is clear that flying a drone near an airport is a serious criminal act.

We're now going even further and extending the no-fly zone to help keep our airports secure and our skies safe.

Anyone flying their drone within the vicinity of an airport should know they are not only acting irresponsibly, but criminally, and could face imprisonment."

If you're found guilty of "recklessly or negligently endangering an aircraft" with a drone, you can be jailed for up to five years.

Despite a £50,000 reward and two arrests that led nowhere, the police still haven't found the person who caused all the trouble at Gatwick. If you know something, say something: £50k will buy you a lovely holiday while the fuss dies down. [BBC]