An incident involving a drone flying near to Elstree Aerodrome has prompted police to issue a warning to the public about using these machines in the vicinity of airports and airstrips.
On Sunday, November 22, a report was received that a pilot coming in to land at Elstree Aerodrome from the west of the airfield, encountered a drone flying at approximately 1,000ft over the Bushey Heath area, in restricted airspace.
“Luckily on this occasion the pilot managed to land his aircraft safely,” explained PC Gerard Handscombe. “But this incident put not only the pilot and his passenger in danger, but also the residents below.
“This was a serious offence and with drone flying becoming a popular hobby, I’d like to remind owners that failing to fly your drone safely could result in a criminal prosecution and/or your drone license being revoked by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
“The CAA are working closely with us in an effort to encourage owners to act both legally and responsibly and anyone found to be flying their drone in a manner deemed unsafe or reckless will be dealt with robustly.”
The following rules under the Drone Code should be adhered to:
• Always keep your drone or model aircraft in direct sight.
• Never fly more than 400ft (120m) above the ground and stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields.
• Never fly closer than 150m to a crowd of 1,000 people or more. Never fly directly over a crowd.
• Never fly closer than 150m to built-up areas. Never fly directly over a built-up area.
• Never fly in an airport’s flight restriction zone. For further information go to orlo.uk/9NIpj
• It is illegal to fly a drone or model aircraft between 250g-20kg that does not show a valid operator ID.
If your drone weighs between 250g and 20kg and you want to fly within a 5km radius of Elstree Aerodrome you should seek permission from them first.
Details must be left with the aerodrome and you must have a license from the CAA. b