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Government restricts drone flying near Port of Dover

The regulations ban drone use below 1,000 feet above mean sea level, within a 2.25 nautical mile radius.

Drone sightings at Gatwick in December caused around 1,000 flights to be cancelled or diverted over 36 hours (John Stillwell/PA)
Drone sightings at Gatwick in December caused around 1,000 flights to be cancelled or diverted over 36 hours (John Stillwell/PA)

By Michael Drummond, PA South East Correspondent

The flying of drones has been restricted in the vicinity of the Port of Dover because of national security concerns.

Legislation came into force on November 1 and bans drone use below 1,000 feet above mean sea level, within a 2.25 nautical mile radius.

The new regulations say: “The Secretary of State has decided that it is necessary in the public interest to restrict the flying of unmanned aircraft in the vicinity of the Port of Dover, Kent owing to its status as critical national infrastructure and its associated national security risk.”

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The flying of drones has been restricted in the vicinity of the Port of Dover (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Exempt from the restrictions are Port of Dover Police, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, balloons and kites and any unmanned aircraft operating with the permission of the Port of Dover Police.

Department store John Lewis stopped selling the flying devices in May because of the chaos they are causing at airports.

Drone sightings at Gatwick in December caused around 1,000 flights to be cancelled or diverted over 36 hours, affecting more than 140,000 passengers in the run-up to Christmas.

A number of other airports have been forced to suspend flights for several hours due to drone activity this year, including Heathrow.

UK Airprox Board figures show there were 125 near-misses between drones and aircraft reported in 2018, up by more than a third on the total of 93 during the previous year.

PA

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