Parliamentary Aviation Group pledges support for tough new drone abuse laws

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Interview date: 22/12/18.

BBC Radio 4 PM Programme interview with APPG Chair, The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, discussing drones and new legislation by APPG Member Peter Bone MP which has its 2nd Reading on 15th February 2018.

BBC R4 PM interview with The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP

by Grant Shapps

Statement Published: 20/12/18

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation (APPG-GA) strongly condemns the illegal and dangerous actions by those deliberating operating drones around Gatwick Airport and supports the decision to suspend all flights to protect passengers and crew.

The Chair of the cross-party group, which numbers 177 parliamentarians, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP spoke with the Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) today and offered support in toughening up the law if required.

The MPs and Peers have previously encouraged the Department for Transport to increase accountability for drone users and operators. New technology exists or is in development to help prevent drone flying near sensitive sites and the APPG will step up work with the CAA and Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg, to create guidelines and regulations that are both fair and proportionate to drone users.

This is only the latest incident in a string of drone-related incursions at airfields. The aviation community has been voicing concerns about drones for some time. It is clear from the current situation that the lack of traceability of drones leads to a lack of accountability on their users. The APPG-GA therefore supports work on investigating how Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) and other technologies could be deployed to ensure drones can always be connected to their owners.

In the House of Lords today, APPG-GA member and Chair of the Airspace Working Group, Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate, asked the minister for aviation if the Government has considered any efforts to improve accountability. The Minister informed Lord Kirkhope that new measures for the police are to be announced soon.

The APPG-GA will continue to work with the Department for Transport, the CAA and industry to ensure that the law and regulation prevent another incident like this one from occurring in the future. This includes helping to progress an appropriate Private Members Bill to help deal with the issue.

 

Note to Editors

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation 177 members from the House of Commons and House Lords. It
is the largest All-Party Group by published membership in the current parliament.

For further information or comment please contact George.lawley@parliament.uk or call 020 7219 8599.