28 OCTOBER 2019


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Article from BTNews 28 OCTOBER 2019

Anti-drone task force welcomed

Pilots have welcomed the government’s announcement of a new national counter-drone force to be set up by the Home Office with the capability to “detect and destroy” the machines as necessary.

The government said the mobile unit, equipped with military-grade cameras, radar and radio frequency scanners to detect rogue drones, would prevent a repeat of the chaos seen at Gatwick last Christmas

Brian Strutton, general secretary of the pilots' union BALPA, said: "BALPA has campaigned for counter-drone measures and we are pleased to see the government taking drone safety seriously and promoting sustainable growth of the industry.

“Keeping the public safe is imperative if drones are to reach their full potential. We understand their huge commercial and leisure benefits, but the threat of a collision with an aircraft is real and could be catastrophic.”

Strutton noted even without a collision, the chaos drones could cause when infiltrating airspace had been proven by the scenes at Gatwick and Heathrow last Christmas.

As part of the measures, all owners of drones weighing more than 250 grammes will be required by law from next month to register their devices with the CAA and take an online safety test. Anyone who fails to do so faces fines of up to £1,000.



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