Heathrow Airport's Anti-Drone Policy Gets a Boost With New System That Weeds out UAV Pilots

By Shabana Arif on at

After a number of incidents with pesky drones and their pilots causing disruptions at airports last year, Heathrow has rolled out a new anti-drone system to nip that naughtiness in the bud.

The government enacted a five kilometre no fly-zone for drones around airports last year in March, after people playing silly buggers with their new airborne gadgets ended upĀ grounding flights from Heathrow and Gatwick. Climate change protesters also caused a kerfuffle at Heathrow, but that was after the new rule, and at least they had the balls to take responsibility for the fallout, with a number of arrests being made.

For those of you who don't give two hoots about the law, things are about to become a scooch harder on you if you're planning any nonsense, as Heathrow's new "Counter Drone" system will not only be able to detect and track unauthorised drones buzzing about, but also locate the pilot, a.k.a you. That's a possible five year stint in the big house for you right there.

Developed by Operational Solutions Ltd, the new system also aims to assist the airport in meeting its "sustainability targets" because it turns out that grounding flights causes flight stacking as well as wasting of fuel. So pissing about grounding flights with your dumb toys is actually causing more harm to the environment than if you'd just slapped a bit of paint on some signs and paraded around the airport shouting about it instead.

If you're thinking about becoming the kind of pilot who has their feet firmly planted on the ground, remember that you have to apply for a license if it's 250g or above. The drone registration scheme is probably a bit more useful, aiming to reunite pilots with their lost drones. [Engadget]