Here's how much mayhem one drone can cause flying near an airport

Here's how drones can wreak havoc on an airport
Here's how drones can wreak havoc on an airport

Drones are becoming a real nuisance to airports.

In the the U.K., the Airprox Board monitors incidents where an airplane's safety is compromised by drones, balloons, model airplanes or any other objects in the air nearby.

In the first nine months of 2017, there were 81 Airprox reports on drones. That's up from 70 in all of 2016, and just 6 drone incidents in 2014.

This summer, an unauthorized drone over London Gatwick airport stopped normal operations on two runways, and delayed some flights by hours. This video shows just how much mayhem that drone caused by flying into the restricted airspace there.

Once it detected the drone, the airport had to redirect incoming planes, and keep them flying in holding patterns nearby. Some were re-routed to other airports because they didn't have enough fuel to keep circling. Other planes on the ground were delayed, too. Flights were delayed by more than two hours for many passengers.

At least the tools to stop drones from flying afoul are improving.

According to Jono Millin, co-founder of Drone Deploy, a tech firm helping businesses manage their drones, "The newest drones have 'no-fly zones' baked into the apps you use to control them. And pilots can use software like AirMap and Skyward to get authorizations squared away before they fly."