Security fears as Royal Helicopter flight plans made public

Full details of The Royal Family’s helicopter flight plans have been made public in a bid to avoid any unforeseen mishap or collision with a drone. In making this bold move, fears have been increased over possible terrorist attacks, according to security experts.
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The flight plans were published by NOTAM – Notice to Airmen – a safety alert system managed by the UK’s air traffic control system and include exact times and routes to be taken by The Queen and other members of The Royal Family.

The MailOnline reported that a newsletter from the Civil Aviation Authority explained the reason behind the decision, “For flight safety reasons, the details of Royal helicopter flights are now being published by NOTAM and so will also be depicted on airspace mapping apps. Keeping well clear of Royal helicopters is particularly relevant to operators of small unmanned aircraft as the crew of the Royal helicopter is unlikely to be able to see and manoeuvre clear of a conflicting drone during these critical stages of flight.”

Dai Davis, a former Head of Royal Protection, was quoted by the MailOnline as saying, “This gives me grave concern as to the overall risk potential. Why bother spending millions of pounds on protecting The Royal Family on the ground, then make this information available in advance? I just despair.”

There have been divided opinions on the releasing of the flight plans with some praising the move as improving security amid the growing threats from unmanned aerial vehicles. Others suggest that publicising the information puts The Royal Family at an increased risk of terror-related activities.

The Civil Aviation Authority maintains that the decision to publish the flight plans came from the Royal Household itself.

A spokesperson for the Royal Family commented, “We are not commenting on the change in arrangements and have nothing to add further to what the CAA has already said. More broadly, in making travel arrangements, the Royal Household always seeks the best balance of security, efficiency and value for money.”

Photo Credit: Michael Garnett

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