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UK toughens airport defences after Gatwick drone incident

January 08, 2019 / DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW

UK government authorities are to start testing and evaluating a range of counter-drone technologies in the country, intended to prevent airport disruption of the scale which recently affected London Gatwick. The UK’s Department for Transport has outlined the measures in a consultation response document titled The Future of Drones in the UK, in which it also sets out enhanced law enforcement powers and plans to tighten airport restrictions to protect low-flying aircraft. These new restrictions will include a 5km long and 1km wide exclusion zone from runway ends, drone flying within which would require air traffic control permission. There is already a limitation in place, as of 30 July last year, forbidding drone flights above 400ft within 1km of an airport.