TRANSPORT – PREVENTING ILLEGAL USE OF DRONES – 7 January 2019
Dr Julian Lewis: I fully accept what the Secretary of State says about the adequacy of the laws and the deterrent effect of potential sentences. However, it is possible for anybody to go on the internet and buy a simple but substantial device that they could use not to try and close an airport, as in this case, but to fly into the engine intakes of a plane that was landing or taking off. What can he tell us about not only registration but, more importantly, the capability to prevent such an attack maliciously being mounted by someone who might well belong to a jihadist organisation and who will not be deterred by death, let alone by long prison sentences?
[The Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Grayling): That is a serious point that we and the security services have been working on. We have been in conversation with airports about it for some considerable time, and two things are happening on that front. First, this country has moved to introduce a drone registration scheme, which will start later this year. Secondly, and more significantly, the European Aviation Safety Agency is moving towards a requirement, which I expect to be introduced within two to three years, for all drones to contain technology that allows them to be tracked and potentially to be stopped in critical areas.]