Gatwick: What punishment could a drone operator face?

What punishment could a drone operator face?

The person – or people – responsible for flying drones near Gatwick Airport has caused chaos for thousands of passengers. But how serious an offence is being committed? And what punishment could be handed down? How can a drone cause so much chaos?

What laws exist around drones?

Endangering the safety of an aircraft is a criminal offense which can carry a prison sentence of up to five years.

The government passed legislation earlier this year making it illegal to fly a drone within 1km of an airport or airfield boundary in the UK. Flying above 400ft (120m) – which increases the risk of a collision with manned aircraft – was also banned as of 30 July. 

Users who break the flight restrictions could face unlimited fines, up to five years in prison, or both.

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