New laws restricting all drones from flying above 400ft (121m) and within 1km (0.62 miles) of airport boundaries are to be implemented in the UK.
Effective from July 30, the new ruling follows a year-on-year increase in drone-related incidents with aircraft. It is hoped these measures will reduce the possibility of damage to windows and engines of planes and helicopters, in addition to problems at the airport itself.
The new laws will also require owners of drones weighing 250g or more to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and for drone pilots to take an online safety test to ensure the UK’s skies are safe from irresponsible flyers. These requirements will come into force on November 30, 2019.
Chris Woodroofe, chief operating officer at Gatwick Airport, commented, “We welcome the clarity that today’s announcement provides as it leaves no doubt that anyone flying a drone must stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields.
“Drones open up some exciting possibilities but must be used responsibly. These clear regulations, combined with new surveillance technology, will help the police apprehend and prosecute anyone endangering the travelling public.”
The CAA and airports will have the power to make exceptions to these restrictions in specific circumstances.