UK pilots welcome British counter drone strategy

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has welcomed the British government’s counter-drone strategy.

BALPA chief Brian Strutton, said the pilots’ organisation had campaigned for counter-drone measures to be introduced and so were pleased to see the government both taking drone safety seriously and promoting sustainable growth of the industry. “Keeping the public safe is imperative if drones are to reach their full potential,” he said, adding, “we understand the huge commercial and leisure benefits of drones but the threat of a collision with an aircraft is real and could be catastrophic to those on board and on the ground, and so this threat must be taken seriously.”

“Even without a collision, the chaos that drones can cause when infiltrating airspace has been proven with what we saw at Gatwick and Heathrow last Christmas. We hope the introduction of new technology will deter those so minded to do something similar, and will help with the detection and arrest of those who go ahead with it.”

The UK government said the strategy is forward-looking and will evolve along with the underlying technology to keep ahead of the threat, providing a single vision for government and industry that will ensure coherence, efficiency and value for money.

“It will also show the government’s intent to ensure a proportionate response to the security challenges posed by drones that will keep the UK an attractive prospect for companies seeking to invest in drone technology and drone security.”

It said the objective of the strategy is to reduce the risk posed by the highest-harm illegal use of
drones. This will be achieved by:

  • developing a comprehensive understanding of the evolving risks posed by the malicious
    and illegal use of drones;
  • taking a ‘full spectrum’ approach to deter, detect and disrupt the misuse of drones;
  • building strong relationships with industry to ensure their products meet the highest
    security standards; and
  • empowering the police and other operational responders through access to
    counter-drone capabilities and effective legislation, training and guidance.