Heathrow Airport suspended departures on Tuesday following apparent drone sightings – and the action has been backed by a technology brainbox all too aware of their impact. During the evening, the London transport hub was forced to ground all departures when they responded to the report disrupting travel for thousands of passengers. Departures and arrivals resumed later in the evening. A Heathrow spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We continue to monitor this situation and apologise to any passengers that were affected by this disruption.”
Commander Stuart Cundy of the Met Police said in a statement: “Our priority is to ensure that there is no ongoing threat to the safety of those at the airport and identify those responsible for this dangerous act.”
Ric Hardesty, a drone user who has owned his flying robot for two years, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the strict rules to abide by, and the life-threatening impacts if these are not adhered to.
He said: “Quite simply, a drone has the potential of colliding with a plane.
“It will damage it in such a way that it crashes and kills everyone on board.
“Passenger safety has to be paramount.
“It’s clear that misuse can cause a serious issue, though it should be made clear though the vast majority of drone users are law abiding.”
Ric gave details on the regulations users must adhere to when purchasing the unmanned automated craft, and said: “The law is really clear on the rules of flying near airports.
“It’s a criminal offence to fly a drone within 1km of the boundary of an airport, and geofencing prevents the vast majority of drones from doing so.
“It’s also advised not to fly a drone within 5km of an airport.”
Suspected drone sighting have twice caused chaos at London airports, with disruption at Gatwick between December 19 and 21.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled after reports of a similar drone sighting.
The hub was repeatedly forced to closure during the huge disruption shortly before the busy Christmas flight rush.
Yet it later was suggested there may have been no drone at all.
Rick said he had been travelling back to the UK capital that day, with his drone safely stored in his luggage.
He added: “I’m confident the authorities will be able to close the loophole and prevent further reoccurrence.”
Daily Express :: Travel News Feed