Police drones introduced at Stansted Airport as no-fly zone is extended
PUBLISHED: 09:01 13 March 2019
The no-fly zone around Stansted Airport has been extended from one to five kilometres,
This means that no drones or model aircraft can be flown within this area and will help to minimise disruption to passengers, Essex Police say.
From today, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flying restriction zone around any airport or airfield runway in the UK will be extended to five kilometres.
Working alongside the airport operator, Manchester Air Group (MAG) and the National Air Traffic Service (NATS), Essex Police have been given permissions to fly police drones within the restriction zone in order to prevent, detect and disrupt crime.
A team of officers have received specialist training to operate the force’s drones within the restriction zone. This will include regular police drone patrols which will be looking to detect various types of criminal activity around the airport such as criminal damage, car theft and suspicious behaviours.
Airport Commander Superintendent Richard Phillibrown said: “As technology evolves, so do the methods criminals use to commit crime.
“We are all aware of the disruption caused at Gatwick airport towards the end of last year after a drone was reported to have been seen near to the runway.
“Whilst this new initiative has been in planning for a while and has not come about as a direct result to the Gatwick incident, we recognise this issue may affect the day to day running of Stansted airport and the safety of travelling passengers.
“We have been using drones across the force to detect, disrupt and investigate crime for the past two years and our plans to utilise the technology at Stansted Airport have been developed over the past 18-months.
“Thanks to the special permissions given to us by National Air Traffic Service (NATS), we are able to make use of drone technology to monitor the airport and the surrounding area, investigate suspicious behaviour and quickly respond to any concerns raised to either our officers or airport staff.
“This will not only assist in preventing and detecting crime, but also minimise potential disruption to passengers using the airport and provide an additional tool to policing the airport and preventing terrorism.
“We ask that the local community make themselves aware of the new no fly zone parameters, as anyone found to be in breach of this, may be prosecuted.
“For more information about UAV laws and regulations please visit the Essex Police website or www.dronesafe.uk”