8 DECEMBER 2014
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Officials from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) are becoming increasingly concerned with the huge increase by the use of unmanned aircraft (drones), which may pose a danger to commercial aircraft. New rules are expected to be announced in the new year. Europe can be expected to follow.
"The thing that we are most concerned about is to ensure that any aircraft in this system do not come into conflict with one another," Michael Huerta, the FAA's Administrator, said on CNN.
Huerta said the FAA has enforced hundreds of cases "where we have seen someone operating one of these things carelessly or recklessly, posing a danger to aircraft."
On at least 25 occasions since 1 June, pilots have reported drones nearly colliding with larger aircraft, the FAA revealed in a report last week.
Huerta said that the FAA has been working with clubs to educate people about proper drone use – flying no higher than 400ft, not near an airport and always maintaining line of sight. Drones are expected to be a popular Christmas gift this year but commercial versions, used for TV sports events, are also a problem.
The UK CAA covers the issue under “Unmanned Aircraft and Aircraft Systems”. www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?CATID=1995
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