Officers policing the British Grand Prix at Silverstone have located and seized two drones being flown illegally within the restricted zone around the circuit.
Northamptonshire Police officers and drone specialists from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service detected the devices earlier today, Saturday, July 13, using drone detection and pilot detection software.
The pilots were located in campsites that fell within the two and a half mile CAA flying restriction zone which is currently in place around the Silverstone heliport.
The pilots have been spoken to by police and the drones were seized.
Policing commander for the event, Superintendent Dennis Murray, said: “The specialist software has so far proved extremely effective. We have been able to detect the drones and locate the pilots following these two incidents and the pilots have been spoken to.
“I want to remind people that drones are a prohibited item and will be confiscated if bought to the circuit. People should also be aware that a two and a half mile CAA flying restriction cordon is in place around the circuit heliport and this also takes in most of the campsites.
“Officers will continue to monitor the software for unauthorised use of drones and will also be on the lookout during their regular patrols of the circuit and campsites. Anyone found to be breaking the rules with regard to the relevant legislation will be spoken to and appropriate action taken.”
Racegoers and campers are urged to note the following advice:
- Leave drones at home – you will not be able to fly them legally or safely either at the circuit or in the nearby campsites.
- A 2.5 mile flying restriction cordon is in place around the circuit – this means that no drones will be allowed to fly within that cordon unless they have approval from the heliport tower.
- Police will be monitoring for unauthorised use of drones within the no-fly zone and anyone found to be breaking the rules with regard to the relevant legislation will be spoken to and appropriate action taken.
The relevant legislation:
- Flights must be safe: Article 94 (2) of the Air Navigation Order 2016 (amended 2019), states that ‘the remote pilot of a small unmanned aircraft may only fly the aircraft if reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made’. With the number of people expected at the circuit and the campsites, it will not be possible to fly a drone safely in these areas.
- Small unmanned surveillance aircraft (Article 95 of the Air Navigation Order 2016 (amended 2019)): As many drones have cameras fitted, they would be classed as small unmanned surveillance aircraft and these are not allowed to be flown (without written permission from the CAA) within 50m of a person, vehicle or structure, over or within 150m of a congested area or an organised assembly of more than 1,000 people.
- If an offence is believed to have been committed, under section 19 (3) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, officers have the power to seize the drone as it may contain evidence of that offence.
14th July 2019