UK clamps down on drones

The UK Government has announced new legislation to extend a ‘no-fly’ zone around airports, banning drones from flying within 5km of runways, effective March.

Work to progress a new Drones Bill is under way 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. It will also give new powers to the police to clamp down on those misusing drones and other small unmanned aircraft – including the power to access electronic data stored on a drone – with a warrant.

The new legislation and extending the ‘no-fly’ zone around airports comes in an effort “…to help keep our airports secure and our skies safe”, said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. The UK Government and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have also partnered with retailer, Jessops, as part of a national campaign to increase public awareness of the rules about flying drones.

Users have been advised against flying drones close to airports and are also advised to observe all relevant rules and regulations when operating the device. Authorities warn of severe penalties, including imprisonment, for any violations. 

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