UKs extended 5km airport drone no-fly zones in force next month

The UKs Department for Transport has said today that an expansion of drone no-fly zones to 5km around airport runways will come into force on March 13.
Anyone caught and convicted of flying a drone inside the restricted zones could face a fine and years in prison.
Last month the government said it would tighten restrictions on drones flights around airports, after the existing 1km limit was criticized for being inadequate saying it believes expanded no-fly zones will help protect airports from drone misuse.
The 1km drone exclusion zone around airports, and a 400ft drone flight height restriction rule, only came into force last July. But ministers came in for sharp criticism following theGatwick Airport drone fiascowhen aspate of drone sightings near the UKs second busiest airport caused a temporary shutdown of the runway and travel disruption for thousands of people right before Christmas.
Heathrow, the UKs busiest airport, also briefly halted departuresafter further sightings of drones last month.
The law is clear that flying a drone near an airport is a serious criminal act. Were now going even further and extending the no-fly zone to help keep our airports secure and our skies safe, said transport secretary, Chris Grayling, in a statement today.
We are also working to raise awareness of the rules in place. Anyone flying their drone within the vicinity of an airport should know they are not only acting irresponsibly, but criminally, and could face imprisonment.
The government and the Civil Aviation Authority have announced a partnership with online retailer Jessops to help raise public awareness about the new drone rules and encourage what they dub responsible drone use as part of a national awareness campaign.
The government also said work is continuing on a new Drones Bill. Although the planned legislation is already almost a year behind schedule and is still only slated forintroduction in due course.
The bill will give police officers powers to stop and search people suspected of using drones maliciously aboveback in 2017when the drone bill was first floated by the government. It re-announced its intention to beef up police powers to tackle drone misuse last month following the Gatwick fiasco.
The government added today that the Home Office is still reviewing the UKsapproach to countering the malicious use of drones, writing that it will consider how best to protect the full range of thethis month, drone maker DJI announced upgrades to its geofencing systems across Europe applying stricter and more detailed restrictions around airports and other sensitive sites after switching its mapping data provider from US based AirMap to UK based Altitude Angel.
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