back to article Police drone fliers' wings clipped to prevent them bumping into real aircraft

British police drone pilots have had their wings slightly clipped – after the Civil Aviation Authority issued new rules tweaking previously reduced safety limits for the airborne surveillance gadgets. Although stories were doing the rounds last week that rules on drones had been relaxed for police drone fliers, in reality the …

  1. Dwarf Silver badge

    I wish they would stop droning on and on about all this..

    Presumably they could solve the problem like they do on other police vehicles - put on the flashing blues lights and two-tone horns. Why are these vehicles stealth compared to every other vehicle ?

    1. jospanner

      Because these things are for spying.

  2. RobThBay

    Mixed measurements

    Why is altitude given in feet while horizontal distance is given in metres?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Mixed measurements

      Feet are still widely used in aviation for altitude, up to 4000ft (from sea level), where "Flight Level", in 100ft units is used. So, an airliner at 30,000ft would at FL300

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Mixed measurements

        Using feet for altitude is enshrined in regulations from way, way back.

        Also, flying a plane and flying a drone are two separate skills which don't really transfer that well. There are some small but important differences.

        1. Stu_The_Jock

          Re: Mixed measurements

          So you're saying if you're on a plane (once they are flying again) and both the flight crew had the fish for dinner, don't rely on a man who flew a drone to get the plane down ?

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: Mixed measurements

            "Don't rely on a man who flew a drone to get the plane down"

            Better to inflate the autopilot, at least he won't have vertical landings as a normal occurrence in his program.

          2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: Mixed measurements

            Surely you can't be serious?

            I thought the pilot and Co-pilot ate different meals to avoid just such an occurance?

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: Mixed measurements


              And don't call me Shirley.

    2. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Mixed measurements

      "Why is altitude given in feet while horizontal distance is given in metres?"

      Welcome to the wonderful world of aviation. By now I've learned not to ask such questions anymore. At times it actually gets a lot weirder than this example. I've also learned to be grateful for the mental arithmetic I learned in primary school which I get to use again (and learned to regularly reach for a glass of something to relax overworked grey cells).

      Have a safe flight,


      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Mixed measurements

        Hopefully we will not see any problems when they try to land and the drone software determines that it's 10 metres above the ground and calculates the landing velocity in feet and inches.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Mixed measurements

      "and within 10 metres of people and vehicles"

      For the benefit of the readership here, that is about 5 Osmans

      1. ricardian

        Re: Mixed measurements

    4. -tim

      Re: Mixed measurements

      In metric parts of the world, the Feet in aviation aren't a real vertical distance to the ground but an approximate distance based on air pressure which drives the altimeter which is adjusted to a nearby location and adjusted periodically during a flight. Above a point of about 10,000 feet, the altimeter will be adjusted to 29.92 inHg or 1013 mb. This result is in a low or high pressure system, the 500 ft separation of planes is slightly different than 500 ft, but they don't hit each other because they are all using the same reference. A pressure altimeter when calibrated is more accurate than a GPS altitude.

      Feet aren't used for horizontal distances in metric countries. Places like Australia which mostly copied the US FAA's rule book down to the section numbers, rounded all the nice round feet to nice round meters (1000 ft became 300 meters, not 305m) but sometimes they rounded up, sometimes down.

    5. agurney

      Re: Mixed measurements

      Why is altitude given in feet while horizontal distance is given in metres?

      It's metres, because if the drones had a decent range they'd use the preferable nautical miles.


  3. nojobhopes

    Give them an inch

    Oh the beautiful agony of double standards.

    Fruit and veg = procescuted



    Precious metals = allowed


    Clothing = allowed


    Weapons = allowed


    Height of politicians = allowed


    Pints especially in icon form = swallowed

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: Give them an inch

      On the beer note, if it's in cans then they tend to be metric now (330, 440 and 500ml unless it's an American freedom beer or a traditional beer in a glass bottle).

  4. Bonzo_red

    COVID support flights

    Over what timescale were these support flights operating? Evidence that it is a western plot after all?

  5. Chris the bean counter

    Line of ̶D̶u̶t̶y̶ Sight

    Isnt the biggest change that the emrgency rules permit police to not be in line of sight of the Drones

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