London airport police to use surveillance drones for counter-terrorism operations

London airport police will soon be using drones for surveillance following a successful trial at the Gatwick airport and a review by counter-terrorism officers. The technology that is being termed as “transformative” was developed by the National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters after a thorough analysis and will be launched over the next 18 months. Drones will be used across major UK airports, including but not limited to Heathrow, Stansted, Luton and City airports, according to reports.

“The technology is transformative. With the new system we will be able to carry out missions around seven times faster than ground-based activity and at around 10% of the cost,” said George Trebess from the National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters. “We estimate £1.2m would be saved in three years.”

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will reportedly hand over responsibility of investigating any illegal use of drones to police. Campaigners expressed their concerns about the plans saying the over 50,000 drones that are presently reported on being in the UK can fall in the wrong hands. CAA prohibits the flying of drones over or within a radius of 150m from public or built-up places.

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