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Safety warning for drone users

11/08/2017

Our Safety advisers have joined the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in warning drone users about the risks of flying near overhead power lines and electricity substations.

Ruth Adams, Education Liaison Officer at WPD said: “The popularity of drone use is soaring and with the summer holidays in full swing it’s the time of year to be outside and enjoy outdoor activities like drone flying. We don’t want to stop people having fun, however we want everyone to play safe and go home safely. Incorrect and improper use of drones can have fatal consequences and we want to remind everybody that there are rules to drone safety.        

“We have thousands of pylons and poles which carry high voltage electricity along overhead power lines. If a drone gets close or contacts our equipment it could damage not only the equipment but pose a threat of death or injury to others. So, it’s important to follow the rules.”

WPD and CAA have prepared some important safety tips for flying drones:

1. Always keep your drone in sight so that you can see and avoid things while flying.

2. Look out for electricity substations and overhead power lines. Make sure you always fly more than 50 metres from them, as well as from people and properties.

3. Read and follow the drone manufacturer’s instructions.

4. If a drone does enter a substation or contact power lines, do not attempt to retrieve it and call Western Power Distribution straight away on 105 or 0800 6783 105 and they will come and collect it for you.

5. Visit www.dronesafe.uk for more information on drone safety, or visit our own drone safety page.

Johnathan Nicholson from the CAA said: “Anyone operating a drone must do so responsibly and observe all relevant rules and regulations. The rules for flying drones are designed to keep everyone safe. The CAA's 'Dronecode' provides advice on how to fly your drone safely and responsibly. You must follow the rules at all times and can find more information at: www.dronesafe.uk  Remember that you should never fly your drone above 400ft, should always keep it in your line of sight, and stay well away from airports and other aircraft.”

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