At Glasgow Airport last year, a small passenger plane almost collided with a drone, missing it by just 3 seconds. It was one of the most recent near-miss incidents in Britain.
A report released by UK Airprox Board, an airspace watchdog, released a report stating that the pilot knew it was a drone upon seeing it. The pilot described the drone as a black object with some attached to its bottom surface. He missed the drone by about 3 seconds, narrowly avoiding a potentially tragic situation between the drone and the Bombardier Dash 8.
Another report was published showing how frequently drones were being flown near passenger planes in Edinburgh, at the Edinburgh Airport: surprisingly, two different incidents happened within 3 days of each other. A more well-known airport, London’s Gatwick airport, had a drone flying in its airspace last summer; this forced the airport to close the runway for hours, rerouting five planes.
Which? Magazine published some worrying data in October, stating that UK Airprox Board handled over 80 complaints of drones flying near planes and other aircraft in 2017. While the Department for Transport is looking into improving drone safety, the government has declared that drone pilots will soon have to register their drones and receive safety training. Despite these plans, nobody has given a time frame as to how and when these plans will progress.
We are all already well aware that pilots are terrified of drone collisions, because drones can cause more damage to planes than even birds can, and bird collisions are known to be catastrophic. If a drone were to hit a small plane, it could easily cause it to crash.
Many, including the British Airline Pilots’ Association, have demanded the government to implement geofencing around airports to increase safety. And as drones become more and more popular, the risk of planes colliding with drones only increases, especially if the appropriate safety measures aren’t implemented.
Via: The Week