To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the closure of Gatwick Airport on 19 and 20 December 2018 after illegal drone use threatened flight safety for the future resilience at that airport.
14 January 2019
The recent use of a drone to disrupt Gatwick airport operations was a serious criminal offence. The Department is working closely with the Home Office, Police, CAA and all UK airports to ensure that appropriate lessons are learnt from this incident, and appropriate mitigations put in place to reinforce their protection. Department for Transport and Home Office Ministers will be meeting with key UK airports this week to discuss their counter-drone strategies in the wake of the Gatwick incident.
The Department is introducing a number of measures to build on existing regulations to improve safety and security at airports and other critical infrastructure sites, set out in our consultation response published on 7th January, which can be found here:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-future-of-drones-in-the-uk-consultation.
These measures include new powers for the police to ensure they are able to enforce the law for offences involving drones, and increased drone restriction zones around airports.