New Drone Measures Come Into Force As UK Expands Airport No-Fly Zones

The UK Government has now put into place new legislation that has extended no-fly zones around airports to 5km. There is also a promise to impose major penalties for those who break the law.

The government decided to bring in the changes before the new Drones Bill has been finalised, in part as a reaction to the events at Gatwick airport before Christmas 2018.

Penalties for breaking the law on misusing drones range from fines to life imprisonment if the device is intentionally used to cause violence.

Here is a direct link to help you make sense of where you can and can't fly. Airport Extensions


UK ministers to meet with manufacturers

According to a government statement, Aviation Minister Liz Sugg will meet with “global leading drone manufacturers to discuss how to tackle criminal drone use” later this month.

The statement says that “they are expected to discuss a range of topics including counter-drone technology and software – such as ‘geofencing’ – that could be built into drones at the point of manufacture.”

Presumably, that conversation will be when government officials realise geofencing technology is already widely in place and probably preventing countless illegal incursions every day.

Despite publishing official statements that don’t appear to say much at all, Aviation Minister Liz Sugg has made a point of noting that the majority of drone pilots are operating responsibly.

“Flying drones illegally puts others at risk both in the air and on the ground, so it’s vital they are used safely. The majority of people using drones want to do so responsibly, so we have expanded a national campaign to ensure they know the rules – and the penalties,” she said.

“The new Drones Bill, which is currently being drafted, will give new powers to the police to clamp down on those misusing drones and other small unmanned aircraft – including the power to access electronic data stored on a drone with a warrant. It will also include stop and search powers for drone users near aerodromes.”

UK Home Office looking at counter drone options

The statement also confirmed that the Home Office is reviewing the UK’s approach to countering the malicious use of drones, “and will consider how best to protect the full range of the UK’s critical national infrastructure – including testing and evaluating technology to counter drones.”

Since the farce at Gatwick airport and more recent disruptions at London Heathrow, it seems to be a question of when, not if, a similar incident will happen again.



First Published on Dronelife

drone show

You heard it right.  Get ready to offer your clients the best and safest spectacle available – a drone show.

Since the SuperBowl, the winter Olympic Games in South Korea, and shows at major events such as Burning Man, Coachella, and many others, massive drone shows have caught the publics attention.  Intelhas become a worldwide standard, they are rightly proud of the shows that have helped to educate the public while being environmentally friendly (no heavy metals as with fireworks).

While they are simple in theory, creating actual shows takes a lot of development effort and testing. Sophisticated systems, obviously, require more qualified personnel to operate. Simpler solutions, on the other hand, may reduce time required for staff training and allow them to concentrate on the show’s concept instead. Because not every event has the time and resources to hire Intel, Geoscan has developed a DIY drone show that makes the technology accessible to everyone.

Geoscan‘s educational quadcopter kit, named Pioneer, became a perfect platform: not only for introducing students to programmable drones, but also as a great structural unit for creating breathtaking light performances.  The weight of one quadcopter is only 300 grams (0.66 lbs), which is below regulation restrictions in most countries. (Purchasers should check their local regulations.). All drones use GPS and an industrial-grade autopilot for positioning, and have bright RGB LED array.

Each drone is pre-programmed and acts independently to fly in formation and maneuver for up to 7 minutes. This level of autonomy gives one operator the ability to control the swarm, and perform safe landing if necessary. Most clients use a swarm of 40 drones, that provides best cost-to-performance ratio and fits most occasions: but a 120-unit flight has also been performed successfully, so developers can think big!

What really distinguishes Geoscan from its competitors is that it offers a fully operational, ready-to-fly kit. Geoscan provides full training course and gives customers everything they need to start their own drone show business.  It’s a lucrative niche that pilots will want to get in on early – as drone shows for big events become more common, smaller local events will want to get in on the trend.