GATCO welcomes further safety steps relating to drone regulation announced by the Department for Transport (DfT) in the Government response to the consultation “Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK”. The extension of the restriction zone around aerodromes to ensure drones are not in the unsafe proximity of manned aircraft during take off or landing is a step in the right direction, something GATCO included in its consultation response and had been calling for for some time.
However, the piecemeal approach to drone regulation by the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) still fails to fully recognise the significant safety risk posed by drones, as highlighted by the 81 Airprox reports reported during the period January 2018 – November 2018. The events at Gatwick Airport last month highlighted that regulation alone is not enough and that effective enforcement is required.
While the Government response to the consultation mentions geo-fencing and electronic conspicuity, it does not appear to add any urgency to the development of such solutions. Until they are introduced, the travelling public still faces an unnecessary risk.
You can read the Government response to “Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK” here.