21 Jun, 2019 @ 11:44
1 min read

Gibraltar announces drone crackdown after Gatwick attacks saw 140,000 travellers affected at Christmas

DRONING ON: The Government announces drone law changes after the Gatwick Christmas chaos

GIBRALTAR has announced a new crackdown on drones after the disruption at Gatwick Airport, which affected 140,000 travellers.

A Command Paper issued by the Government sets out several new laws, including a restriction on ‘toy drones’ – those over 250 grams.

All drones flown in ‘Gibraltar airspace’, including toy drones, will now need permission from the Director of Civil Aviation (DCA) to be able to fly.

A clearer definition of ‘drone operators’ and ‘remote pilots’ is also included in the new measures.

WIDE-RANGING: Tougher measures announced by the Government also cover toy drones

The Government said this re-wording will ‘future-proof’ the situation for companies that own multiple drones and have different pilots.

Drone operators have until January 1 2020 to pay and register with the DCA, as well as prove their piloting competency.

Toy drone-flyers will be exempt from this, but will have to obtain a registration code from the DCA.

The crackdown comes after drones disrupted over 1,000 flights in December, costing Gatwick €1.6 million.

GREEN LIGHT: Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia welcomes the move

The UK’s second busiest airport was shut down for more than 36 hours, as drones were piloted near the transport hub in the run-up to Christmas.

Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said: “I welcome these new procedures for controlling the use of these devices.

“The disruption suffered by Gatwick Airport shortly before Christmas, brought into sharp focus the problems that unauthorised drones flying close to airfields can cause.”

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