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Airports: Unmanned Air Vehicles

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL12715, tabled on 9 January 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to introduce urgent legislation to immediately implement a five-kilometre drone exclusion zone as proposed by the British Airline Pilots Association for all commercial and military airports; if so, when; and if not, why not.

Answered on

17 January 2019

As set out in my recent Statement [7 January 2019 vol 794] on the Government’s response to our recent consultation Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK, we will be taking forward several measures to ensure that passengers have confidence that their journeys will not be disrupted by drones, that aircraft can safely use our key transport hubs and that criminals misusing drones can be brought to justice.

Although any restriction zone would not have prevented a deliberate incident such as that seen recently at Gatwick, we want to ensure that proportionate measures are in place at airports to protect aircraft and avoid potential conflict with legitimate drone activity. We will therefore introduce additional protections around airports, with a particular focus on protected exclusion zones 5km from runway ends at a width of 1km, alongside increasing the current restrictions to the extent of existing Aerodrome Traffic Zones (ATZ) around airports. Drone pilots wishing to fly within these zones must only do so with permission from the aerodrome air traffic control. The Department for Transport will amend the Air Navigation Order 2016 to implement these changes.