Gatwick runway closure: IOSH condemns “irresponsible” drone use

20 December 2018

IOSH has condemned the actions of those in control of drones sighted near Gatwick Airport.

181220 Gatwick closure

Flights were unable to take off from the UK airport and expected arrivals were diverted after its runway was closed on the evening of Wednesday 19 December.

It remained closed on the morning of Thursday 20 December, with thousands of passengers affected by the disruption.

Duncan Spencer, Head of Advice and Practice at IOSH, said:

“We condemn such irresponsible use of drones. The actions of those in control of the drones have placed airline personnel and passengers at significant risk of harm. This is unacceptable.

“When used properly, drones are a valuable technology. They can actually contribute to reducing and eradicating workplace hazards.

“For example, we can inspect electricity pylons, removing the requirement for working at height near high-voltage power lines.

“Instances like this, however, endanger staff and members of the public at a particularly busy time of year.”

IOSH’s Sports Grounds and Events Group ran an event on drone safety at London’s Twickenham Stadium in June 2017.

Image: Passengers queuing at Gatwick Airport

Notes for editors

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world’s leading chartered professional body for people responsible for safety and health in the workplace. We have more than 47,000 members in about 130 countries.

We act as a champion, adviser, advocate and trainer for safety and health professionals working in organisations of all sizes. Our focus is to support our members in their efforts to create workplaces that are safer, healthier and more sustainable.

Our shared objective is a world where work is safe and healthy for every working person, every day. Through our 2017-2022 strategy, ‘WORK 2022 – shaping the future of safety and health’, we will seek to enhance the occupational safety and health profession, build strategic collaborative partnerships across industry and strengthen our influence globally through impactful research and development.

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