Drone enthusiasts in SE23



120.000 passengers affected on Wednesday & Thursday will not find your post funny.


Perpetrators could get up to 5 years in jail. According to the numbers and reports they definitely have wasted more person-hours than a mere 5 years.


Today’s incident highlights the need to licence the use of Drones. If one of these hit a plane it could have fatal consequences.

I feel so sorry for everyone trying to get home to see loved ones at Christmas or to escape the grey UK, only to be stuck.


It’s not possible in practice to ensure all drones are licensed. Unlicensed drones could still cause chaos.


Something needs to be done. Whilst I’m not an expert in this matter, given their capacity to cause harm/ danger it does need addressing somehow or other.


There are already a number of regulations around the use of Drones which if followed should allow for their safe use. There is not benefit out of creating knee jerk legislation based on one incident.

But if this becomes a more frequent occurrence, then more regulation would be required. And licensing is one option to look at. If not the drones themselves, then a requirement to only sell drones to licensed/qualified users.


I’m not too sure. I regularly spend my weekends running around the woods with replica imitation firearms (toy guns) and to purchase them I am required to be registered to a database that is accessible only to registered retailers, sites and the relevant government authorities. Perhaps something similar could be implemented to drone sales?


I feel that licenced drones could still cause chaos. The issue here is that at least one person is flying at least one drone near to an airport and no one can even identify who the person is. The police and army are looking and they cannot even track the drone.

People steal cars and drive them dangerously for fun even though they will likely get caught. Seemingly, you can fly a drone anywhere and not get caught.

Licences without any further technical solution would be an utter waste of time, imho.


If they can’t be licensed, maybe they should be banned altogether for private use. Only allow legitimate controlled use by police, RNLI or other bona fide (licences) users. Will it take one of these to be sucked into an aircraft engine with possible catastrophic results to stop their sale. I don’t want to be seen as spoiling people’s fun but that’s what these idiots have done to thousands of innocent people over the last few days.


940 people were killed in the U.K. in 2017 as a result of drunk drivers. Shall we ban cars?

I love using my drone, and take great pleasure in editing video footage and making films. I also use my drone responsibly. To suggest a blanket ban on drones is using a sledge hammer to crack a nut, and is an intention to spoil fun for many.

Love the way that there are now so many drone ‘experts’ being interviewed at the airport.

I feel dreadfully sorry for those who have been involved in the drama, but I wouldn’t stand over a road accident scene declaring all driving should be banned…


That is not a sensible analogy. Cars are necessary, frankly and drones are not, regardless of how much you like yours.

If one idiot can create this much disruption for this many people then there is a very strong argument for bans and destroying those bought legally.

I have one friend whose mother is currently dying in Portugal and was caught up in this mess and now will not be able to get home until Boxing Day. I humbly suggest those defending both the idiot and the machine itself think about the impact of the last two days on people like her and the economy.


I am no expert and am staying away from airports for a while until the heat dies down, but drone geofencing would be a fair compromise in my mind.

I think a lot of users wouldn’t mind it too and it wouldn’t be prohibitively expensive.


No one is defending the idiot responsible for this behaviour. We are all quite angry with the idiot - especially responsible drone users.

Drones are part of our modern technically-aligned economy. They have many legitimate uses and innovation is coming thick and fast, including in applications such as agricultural automation.

If the UK government were to regulate such technology in knee-jerk fashion it would have a chilling effect on investment the wider technical sector within the UK, with our homegrown talent and enterprise moving to more liberal economies.


Of course not. But both the cars, and the driver’s are licensed.


According to the Channel 4 news last night, geofencing has already been part of drone software since 2013. Doesn’t appear to be very effective though.

Chris, I take your point: but the U.K. has banned technology in the past which we agree is not a social good.


We’ve outlawed handguns and this has helped maintain low levels of gun crime, but sadly it also means that the only people who are armed on the streets of London are the outlaws.

If we ban drones, it will not prevent a determined criminal using them. In this case at Gatwick, the criminals are clearly determined and resourceful as the drones have still not been taken down. Licensing or bans would not necessary prevent this problem in future.

How about we use drones to our advantage? If “drone hunters” were patrolling the airspace around airports, it would have stopped today’s attack:


I cannot fly my drone near and airport. DJI who made my drone ensure that I have it registered and answer drone safety questions before I fly it.

This is currently the law and also what it will be from 2019


However, it doesn’t stop people misusing them. There will always be idiots and people with malice on their minds.


Cars are not necessary to everybody. I take a ride in a car maybe once or twice a year.
I am slightly baffled as to why you think I am defending the person with the drone; still some people read what they want to read. How you translate my comment that drones should not be banned into I defend the person doing this and this ok?

For your information, drone operators will have to register by November next year. That in itself would not have prevented the actions of the person near Gatwick. They are hardly going to register and then fly over an airfield. Even if you make registering mandatory with purchase in this country, people will bring drones into the country. Mine is pretty hefty and is accepted in hold luggage by all the major airlines.


Good article on this issue here.

This would normally worry me.

How common are near misses between drones and aircraft?

The rate in the UK has tripled since 2015. The UK Airprox Board (UKAB), which monitors all near misses involving commercial aircraft, said there were 92 between aircraft and drones in 2017. That was more than three times the number in 2015: 29. In 2016, there were 71 and the data is clearly tracking the growth in drone use.

But I would hope the introduction of the Dronesafe regulations earlier this year would positively affect this over the next couple of years. If not, is there not a good argument to strengthen the regulations? It’s all fun and games until a plane falls out of the sky.


While at the same time https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45394789

Also, the definition of a near miss is a bit misleading https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-truths/what-is-a-near-miss-and-how-common-are-they-aviation-planes/

However, as much as there are responsible car owners, knife owners, dog owners, firework owners .etc there are always irresponsible owners.

I welcome drone registration, as in the US, allowing responsible drone owners to enjoy their hobby. I also hope irresponsible users are brought to book.