UK expands no-fly zone for drones around airports

LONDON — The no-fly zone for drones around British airports is being extended to 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in an attempt to avert disruptions like the December groundings of flights at Gatwick Airport, officials said Wednesday.

The Department for Transport said the zone will widen on March 13 from the current 1 kilometer (0.6 miles).

Officials are also working on new legislation to give police more powers to stop and search people suspected of using drones maliciously.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said people who fly drones near airports "are not only acting irresponsibly, but criminally, and could face imprisonment."

More than 100,000 travelers were stranded or delayed before Christmas after drone sightings near Gatwick, which is Britain's second-busiest airport.

U.K. aviation authorities say 125 near-misses between drones and aircraft were reported in 2018, up from 93 in 2017.

Must Read

Knighthoods for Murray and Farah in New Year's...

Dec 30, 2016

Andy Murray received a knighthood in Queen Elizabeth II's New Year's Honors list on Friday,...

Harry 'constantly in trouble,' Princess Diana...

Jan 5, 2017

Letters sent by Britain's late Princess Diana _ including one in which she described a young Prince...

Jamie Oliver to shut 6 UK restaurants in tough...

Jan 6, 2017

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is shutting six of his 42 Jamie's Italian restaurants in Britain amid...

Study: Superbug infections found in Chinese...

Jan 27, 2017

New research suggests a worrying number of people in China may be infected with bacteria resistant...

Homelessness activists evicted from pricey...

Feb 1, 2017

British authorities have evicted a group of squatters who moved into a vacant mansion in one of...

Sign up now!