UK transport ministry gives police new powers to tackle the threat posed by illegal drone use to aircraft. It follows the disruption caused by drone sightings at London's Gatwick airport just before Christmas
Police in the UK are to be given new powers to tackle the illegal use of drones. It follows last month's chaos after sightings paralysed Britain's second busiest airport.
The exclusion zone will now be extended to the current Air Traffic Zone around airports - approximately a 5 km radius. Endangering the safety of an aircraft is a criminal offence that can carry a prison sentence of up to five years.
The changes announced by the transport minister, Chris Grayling, follow pre-Christmas disruption at Gatwick airport where drone flyovers led to 1,000 flight cancellations and affected 140,000 passengers.
The number of aircraft incidents involving drones has grown dramatically in the past few years. In 2013 there were zero incidents, compared with more than 100 last year.