Drone owners warned over using devices near airports
New drone owners are being warned about the dangers of flying the devices as soon as they unwrap them this Christmas after the chaos at Gatwick Airport.
Police and aviation authorities urged users to read up on strict rules about the remote-controlled gadgets.
Those caught flouting height and airport restrictions face a maximum fine of £2,500 and up to five years' imprisonment.
The law restricts drones from flying above 400 feet and within one kilometre of airport boundaries.
Around 1,000 Gatwick flights were cancelled or diverted after drones were spotted inside the airport perimeter.
Figures obtained by the Press Association show there were 120 near misses between drones and aircraft reported in the year to December 4, up 29% on 2017.
Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: "Police officers will use all available powers to investigate reports of drones being misused and seek the appropriate penalty."