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Unmanned Air Vehicles

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL13815, tabled on 18 February 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 16 March 2016 (HL6659, HL6660, and HL6661), what progress they have made in (1) legislation in regard to, and (2) protection against, drones in the last three years.

Answered on

28 February 2019

Last year, the Government legislated to make flying drones above 400ft or within 1km of an airport boundary illegal. Last month, the aerodrome restriction zone was expanded to include an airport’s aerodrome traffic zone as well as 5km by 1km extensions from the end of runways to protect take-off and landing paths.

Last year, the Government also put into law a registration requirement for all operators of drones weighing 250 grams or more, and a requirement for remote pilots of drones to take a competency test. These requirements will come into force on 30 November 2019.

A new Drones Bill will be introduced in the next Session, which will give the Police greater powers to tackle offences involving the misuse of drones. In addition, the Home Office has announced new stop and search powers for drones around aerodromes, which will also be included in the upcoming Bill.

The Home Office continues to review the UK’s response to the malicious use of drones, and will consider how best to protect the full range of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, as well as testing and evaluating technology to counter drones.

The Government will also continue to work closely with industry and other partners on regulation, anticipating future innovations wherever possible in order to keep our airports secure and our airspace safe.