Aberdeen Airport acts against new drone threat

Drones have shut down two major airports in recent weeks.
Drones have shut down two major airports in recent weeks.

Airport security experts in Aberdeen have stepped up measures to stop the threat of drones grounding flights.

It comes after departures at Heathrow were suspended for around an hour on Tuesday after a drone was spotted near the runway.

Three weeks ago drone sightings caused chaos at Gatwick Airport hitting the travel plans of 140,000 passengers just before Christmas.

An Aberdeen International Airport spokeswoman said: “While we cannot discuss specific security measures, we are very much alert to the threat posed by drones, particularly following the reported sightings at Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

“We are continuing to work closely with the UK Government, the Civil Aviation Authority and Police Scotland to ensure our processes are both appropriate and in line with current threat assessments.

“We remain vigilant as always and would remind people that the use of drones within close proximity to an airport is both extremely dangerous and a criminal offence.”

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said: “Additional operational activities have been put in place, such as increased patrols at our perimeters and local liaison with airport operators.”

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) is also talking to police and Government about what more can be done.

Thousands of passengers were disrupted by the drone incidents at Gatwick before Christmas.

An AOA spokesman added: “Airports continuously review the measures they take to keep air traffic safe.

“In light of events at Gatwick Airport, airports are working together, and with the Government and the police, to see what lessons can be learned.

“This includes looking at what technology is available, as well as what additional measures the Government and police can take, such as mandatory geo-fencing and extending the no-fly zone for drones around airports.”