Gatwick Airport has issued advice to nearby residents who may receive drones as a gift this Christmas.
The airport have urged people to ‘drone responsibly’ and have urged people to check the rules and restrictions for where they can fly their drones after GQ Magazine featured drones as one of the 61 top technology gadgets for Christmas.
Graham Alder, the Head of Aerodrome at Gatwick Airport said: “Drones are great fun and can be fantastic bits of kit for a whole range of activities, and we want to help people enjoy their drones safely and responsibly.
“For obvious reasons, there are a number of rules and restrictions around flying drones near airports.
“So, if you are giving a drone as a gift this Christmas, or if you receive one yourself, please check you know all the rules and restrictions before you start flying.”
This follows a host of incidents involving drones and airplanes, such as the Gatwick Drone Incident in 2018 which caused disruption to 140,000 passengers and 1,000 flights, as a result of drone sightings near the airport.
Sussex Police deal with more than 200 reports per year of people flying drones within the 5km flight zone that surrounds Gatwick Airport.
Flying a drone in this zone in this area carries a prison sentence of up to five years.
Some of the areas included in the restricted zone include Horley, Charlwood, Ilfield, Southgate, Norwood Hill and Burstow.
Drone operators can apply to Gatwick for a special permit to fly their drones within the restricted zone, however, they must have a valid reason to do so.
Information for drone owners is available at: https://www.gatwickairport.com/drones
Feature image credit: Another Airplane! by xlibber via Flickr