NEWS: BALPA issues word of warning for santa’s drones

The pilots’ organization BALPA has issued a reminder for those hoping to unwrap a drone this Christmas, warning that the toys can be fatal for those driving a plane or flying.

In 2018 new laws came into force that limit drones to 400ft and prevent them from flying within 1km of an airport boundary.

British Association of Airline Pilots (BALPA) says that people who buy or use drones need to be familiar with the laws or they could face a fine with up to five years in prison.

Head of flight safety at BALPA, Dr Rob Hunter said: “Even two kilograms of metal and plastic, including the battery, hitting an aircraft windscreen or engine or a helicopter tail rotor, could be catastrophic.

“People who buy these devices need to make sure that they know the rules and stick to them, so they don’t put anyone’s life in danger.”

More than 100,000 passengers were affected by disruption from a drone at Gatwick airport on Friday 21 December, which caused more than 750 flights to be cancelled.

Police have been hunting the drone operator after drones were seen over the runway.