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drones background briefing

A drone closed Gatwick airport for several days before Christmas and halted flights for an hour at Heathrow a few weeks later. 

What’s the current situation with drones and airports?  What is the risk from drones, and what solutions can engineering provide?  How can we prevent this from happening again, and how can drones for legitimate scientific and commercial use safely share airspace with passenger jets?  And what roles are drones expected to play in our lives in future?

Experts were invited to the SMC to discuss these questions.


Prof Iain Gray FREng, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Director of Aerospace at Cranfield University, and Chair of the UK Government Drones Industry Action Group.

Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal FREng, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and Director of engineering consultancy firm DH Future Systems Ltd.

Dr Rick Thomas, Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham who uses long range, high altitude drones for atmospheric research.

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