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Drone incidents (FOI)

Drone incidents (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 08 September 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


I would like details on drone incidents that occurred in the county or that fall under your Police force. I would also like to have the following:


How many drone related incidents occurred in the past two years in the county?


Where did the incident occur?


What date / time did the incident occur?


How long did the incident last?


How many officers were dispatched to handle the drone incident?


How quickly were officers dispatched from time of initially incident report?


How many drones were used in the incident?


How were the drones initially detected?


What counter measures were used to neutralise the drone?


Was the pilot captured / found?


What was the age of the drone pilot?


What was the sex of the drone pilot?


Was the pilot prosecuted?


Is this a repeat of similar offence for the drone pilot or first offence?


Was this an accidentally or deliberate incident?


Was there any property damage or injury to people?


Were any of the drones weaponised?


How were they weaponised?


A to R

The operation of drones (unmanned surveillance aircraft) in Jersey is governed by Article 52 of the Air Navigation (Jersey) Law 2014, specifically under sections 7-11. Air Navigation (Jersey) Law 2014 (

It is not unlawful to operate a drone however, to fly within the exclusion zone of the airport or the approaches either side, without permission of the Airport Director, is an offence. Other offences include flying too close to buildings, people or crowds of more than 1000.

In the time frame requested, there have been thirteen calls to the police regarding drone use. Only two reports related to unauthorised flying in the approach areas to the airport.

In June 2021, at 17:00hours, the pilot of a commercial aircraft reported the sighting of a drone, 200 feet below the aircraft. An officer was dispatched to the area but was unable to locate any drone or pilot. No other flights reported any sightings.

In December 2020, a drone pilot requested permission of the Airport director to fly a drone in the area of St Peter, near the airport but to the side of the operational area. This was for a commercial purpose. The pilot was supposed to confirm with the Airport Director on the day of the flight but failed to do so.

The matter was investigated by police, which resulted in the pilot being given words of advice on the matter. This was a first offence, no property was damaged, no injury was caused, the pilot was an adult male. The incident lasted less than half an hour in total and caused no disruption to the airport. One officer dealt with the whole incident.

In January 2020, police were called to an adult male flying a drone from a park at the edge of St Helier. The flight path took the drone within 50m of a residential block of flats. A resident of the flats called the police. One officer was dispatched to the scene. The pilot was given words of advice. The incident lasted 30 minutes.

In June 2021, a local business owner in St Helier used a drone to take some publicity video of his premises. Police were advised of the incident after the event by local government officials. Words of advice were issued.

Other incidents included pre-authorised use of drones by the Airport Director and the lawful use of a drone on open land and playing fields. In one case, model aircraft were mistakenly reported as drones (No video recording involved). Police were not dispatched in any of these cases.

In no cases where the drones believed to be weaponised although police did not see all those reported. No property was damaged, no people were injured.

As there are so few incidents to report, the exact time, date and location of incidents and the age of the drone pilot will not be released. To do so may allow the identification of an individual which would be contrary to the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 and is exempt under Article 25 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.

Article applied

Article 25 - Personal information

(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005.

(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –

(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018; and

(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.

(3) In determining for the purposes of this Article whether the lawfulness principle in Article 8(1)(a) of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 would be contravened by the disclosure of information, paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 2 to that Law (legitimate interests) is to be read as if sub-paragraph (b) (which disapplies the provision where the controller is a public authority) were omitted.

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