8 May

Policing partnership holds awareness week to encourage compliance with The Drone Code

The reckless or negligent actions of drone users are the focus of a joint campaign between South Wales Police, The Airport Policing Group and Cardiff Airport.

PC Mark Goulding, from the Vale of Glamorgan Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT), joined Sgt Richie Hier of the Airport Policing Group at the Airport in Rhoose this week to highlight the dangers of drones and laser pens, and to educate on the offences those using them could be committing.

A static display of various technology was on show to those passing through the Airport, alongside literature advertising The Drone Code, which was created by the Civil Aviation Authority to encourage responsible use of such technology.

The code reminds users of their legal obligation to fly below 400ft,  at least 150ft from people and property and – crucially – never near aircraft.

Accompanying posters also let people know how to report people flying drones or using laser pens in a malicious or dangerous manner.

The awareness-raising week was held ahead of the summer, the busiest time of the year for the Airport. This year it will also see the added demands of the Champions League Final, during which time an expected 20 aircraft will arrive and depart every hour.

Sgt Hier said: “We developed the Drone safety signs in partnership with Cardiff Airport to provide a reporting solution for passengers and the local community.

“It is an offence to endanger a crewed aircraft whether through the misuse of Drones or laser pens and we will take positive action against any individual who does.”

PC Goulding added: “The stand at the Airport had a really positive response, and a number of passengers stopped to take an interest not only in the technology, but also in the law surrounding its use.

“Drones and laser pens are a relatively new phenomenon, and it is only the actions of an irresponsible minority that is giving the technology a negative image. Ensuring people are educated in how to use them safely and within the perimeters of the law is key.”

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