Have you ever wondered what would happen if you flew your drone too close to an airport? Do you know why the areas around airports are restricted for drone flights? According to the Business Insider UK, it’s because they can cause utter chaos.
The video below shows the chaos that ensued following runways suspensions at a UK airport after a drone was spotted. In the early evening on July 2nd, 2017, an aircraft approaching the Gatwick Airport reported a drone sighting in restricted airspace. Air Traffic Controllers made the immediate decision to suspend all runways.
Unconfirmed reports of a drone sighting led to runway suspension for a total of 14 mins. Operations fully resumed and police investigating.
— Gatwick Airport LGW (@Gatwick_Airport) July 2, 2017
Following the incident, NATS released “Gatwick Drone Incident – 2 July”, a 2-minute video showing how pre-determined holding patterns near the runway quickly filled, overflowed, and the effect it had on pilots.
The flights shown in orange were directed to a larger holding route near Southampton, while flights shown in red were low on fuel and left for other airports.
After failing to confirm the drone sighting, the runways were re-opened after 9 minutes and then suspended for another 5 minutes after the drone was spotted for the second time. The runways were suspended for a total of 14 minutes, but the ramifications of the closures lasted long after the runways reopened.
Being a responsible drone operator is of the utmost importance when it comes to drone safety. After a drone collided with an Army helicopter earlier this year, companies like DJI are pushing to develop new systems to help ensure drones remain a safe, secure and beneficial addition to the airspace.