UK Readies Itself With Military-Grade Protection From Drones
After a few disastrous incidents of flight delays, cancellations and near misses, UK is all set to put regulations in place for drone flights near airports. It is also reported that all major UK airports now have or will soon have military grade anti-drone equipment.
UK’s Drone Regulations
Very recently the military were called in to help when drone sightings causing massive delays at Heathrow Airport. Another such incident involved Gatwick airport when drone flights caused major disruption affecting 140,000 passengers just before Christmas. UK government wishes to or already has technology installed at other critical infrastructure such as prisons, power stations and military sites. Gatwick Airport in a statement said that it had spent £5m to prevent future attacks.
The current drone regulations in UK suggests:
- Drone must be in line of sight at all times
- Not within 50m of people, vehicles or buildings
- No higher than 120m
The government in UK are also said to expand technology to detect and repel drones from sites like airports and prisons. A new legislation will reportedly give police additional powers to land drones. They will also be granted the power to require users to produce the appropriate documentation if they deem it necessary.
India’s Drone Regulations
On the other hand, India lifted the blanket ban that it had put in place for a long time, in December 2018. However, this has been lifted partially and will now allow commercial activities and drone flights. Drone Regulation 1.0 is a step to open up the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) for commercial activities.
The regulation is formulated by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and it has created a huge base for a drone ecosystem in the country. Under this regulation the airspace has been partitioned into Red Zone (flying not permitted), Yellow Zone (controlled) and Green Zone (automatic permission). Permission to fly a drone can be taken using an App. The app is called Digital Sky.
The current regulations for a drone flight in India are:
- During day light (except those flying in enclosed spaces)
- Within visual line of sight (VLoS)
- A maximum height of 400 feet above ground limit (AGL)
Drones will not be able to take flight in “no drone zones”. These include areas close to airports, international borders, State Secretariat Complex in state capitals, strategic locations/vital and military installations. If your drone flight causes damage or injury, you might face penalties under the Aircraft Act 1934, and charged under the IPC sections 287, 336, 337, and 338 which can include anything between Rs 250 fine to two years in jail.