27 JULY 2015
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The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued a ‘drone code’ after several near misses when drones buzzed passenger jets using British airports.
Drone operatives have been warned they face jail if caught as the number of companies and unlicensed individuals making use of the relatively low-cost flight technology continues to grow.
“Drone users must understand that when taking to the skies, they are entering one of the busiest areas of airspace in the world,” said Tim Johnson, CAA Policy Director. “They must be aware of the rules and regulations for flying drones that are designed to keep all air users safe.”
The warnings from the CAA come amid a growing number of privately owned drones in use in Britain for photography and recreation. There are now more than 800 companies registered to use drones, including the BBC Natural History Unit and Berkeley Homes, the house builder. However members of the public do not have to register drones and none of those who buzzed planes in the past year have been caught. “Recklessly endangering an aircraft in flight” is a criminal offence, the CAA has warned and anyone convicted of the charge could face a custodial sentence. www.caa.co.uk/droneaware
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