Sussex Police drone
Sussex Police is trialling unmanned drone in and around Gatwick Airport

An unmanned drone will be deployed to spy over areas near Gatwick Airport.

Sussex Police is trialling a remote controlled aerial system mini-quad coptor to give them an eye in the sky.

Officers are this month running a trial of the the system, which will beam live, high-quality pictures to officers on the ground.

An officer will control the aircraft from the ground, in line of sight, using a portable console up to 500 metres away.

The trial of the Aeryon Skyranger system is being funded by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to test how effective it could be in policing.

Sussex Police drone view
The view from Sussex Police's new unmanned droneYoutube / Sussex Police

Land owners close to the airport are being shown how the system works and are being asked for their permission to deploy the equipment from their land.

The officers who will be using the equipment will do so in line with the current Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations.

The aircraft is expected to be used for the first time later this month and if successful the UAS could be used during operations such as collecting evidence after collisions or major incidents and in the search for wanted or missing people as well as at the airport.

Sussex Police superintendent Brian Bracher said: "This will not replace patrols but will instead give us the opportunity to monitor incidents on the ground from an extra angle."