29 OCTOBER 2018
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A government programme of drone education and registration needs to be brought forward in the wake of a near-miss over London that could have had “disastrous consequences”, the pilots’ union Balpa said last week.
The organisation said a Heathrow-bound Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with up to 264 passengers was performing its descent above Clapham Common in June when the drone was seen passing 3m (10ft) below its right wing.
“There is significant evidence a drone colliding with an aircraft could cause catastrophic damage to the aircraft and we urge the Department for Transport urgently to tighten the laws to make it illegal to fly a drone within 5km of an airport without permission from Air Traffic Control,” Balpa added.
It noted the incident occurred despite heavily publicised new laws in the UK restricting drones to 400ft. The aircraft was at around 3,200ft and the drone was flying at more than eight times the maximum legal height.
Balpa says people flying drones need to understand the rules of the air and is urging the government to bring forward the law due on 30 November next year for drone owners to register with the Civil Aviation Authority and take online safety tests.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Simon Grigor, Harrow
I am sure the 'pilot' of this drone was fully aware of where he/she stands on the law. It's not a question of greater understanding, it's a question of punishment. A couple of well-publicised jailings would do more than registering and safety tests, I feel.