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The Gatwick drone incident raises legal questions

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The Gatwick drone incident that has brought one of the UK’s biggest airports to a complete standstill this week raises big legal questions.

We’ve written before about the use of smart technology and how it can be dangerous. Although the Gatwick drones appear to be high-tech and are being used as part of what appears to be a deliberate ploy, everyday drones can be dangerous. It’s those drones that can be easily bought online or on the high street that raise the legal questions as well.

If something happens, where’s the liability? Where’s the insurance? What do we need to do to ensure people are protected?

The Gatwick drone highlights the need for regulation

The Gatwick drone incident highlights the need for better regulation. I don’t want to sound like a killjoy here, but as lawyers, we consider the legal and legislative issues.

Car insurance is compulsory to make sure victims in a non-fault accident are protected with indemnity. Employers are compelled to have insurance to protect their employees for the same reason. It all makes sense.

However, drones can be bought with ease, and yet they can be dangerous. The Gatwick drone incident has highlighted – to an extent – what they can do. Hundreds of thousands of passengers have had their flights cancelled right before Christmas. The impact has been massive and will carry on for quite some time.

The Gatwick drone incident could be a catalyst for change

It’s worth remembering that the Gatwick drone could have been – or still could be – worse. The chilling reality is that drones could be used for targeted attacks.

But that aside, what happens when an innocent person is injured by an everyday drone? What happens if an owner hasn’t got a great deal of flight time under their belt and crashes into a pedestrian? What if their drone hits a vehicle and causes a major collision?

These are all realistic scenarios. With the use of drones set to continue grow in popularity, something needs to be done.

If you’re injured by a company drone being used for industry, we could possibly launch a No Win, No Fee legal case for you. They ought to have insurance or at least finances to cover themselves. However, if you’re injured by Mr Smith’s drone who rents a flat down the road and doesn’t have any money, how can an injured victim be protected?

The Gatwick drone incident has highlighted the kinds of questions some have been asking for a while. This incident may well end up being the catalyst for change.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Author on December 21, 2018
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