Stansted Airport has extended its ‘no fly zone’, after a recent spate of airport drone attacks resulted in hundreds of delayed flights.

The airport has implemented the restriction in a bid to prevent further disruption to passengers, deter anti-social drone operators and minimise aerial threats.

As of today (March 13), the size of the limitation surrounding any UK airport or airfield runway will be 5 kilometres. Previously it was just 1 kilometre.

This means no drones or model aircrafts can be flown within the area.

Essex Police, however, have been given special permission to fly police drones – also known as Unarmed Aerial Vehicles (UAV) - within the ‘no fly zone’ for the purpose of preventing crime and have also taken part in specialist training.

Regular drone patrols, which will now be rolled out across the country’s airports as part of the new initiative, will look to detect acts of criminal damage, car theft and suspicious behaviour, and a whole host of other criminal activities.

Airport Commander, Superintendent Richard Phillibrown said: "As technology evolves, so do the methods criminals use to commit crime.

“Whilst this new initiative has been in planning for a while and has not come about as a direct result to the Gatwick incident, we recognise this issue may affect the day to day running of Stansted airport and the safety of travelling passengers.

"Thanks to the special permissions given to us by National Air Traffic Service (NATS), we are able to make use of drone technology to monitor the airport and the surrounding area, investigate suspicious behaviour and quickly respond to any concerns raised to either our officers or airport staff.'' 

He continued: ''This will not only assist in preventing and detecting crime, but also minimise potential disruption to passengers using the airport and provide an additional tool to policing the airport and preventing terrorism.

"We ask that the local community make themselves aware of the new no fly zone parameters, as anyone found to be in breach of this, may be prosecuted.''

For more information about UAV laws and regulations please visit the Essex Police website or