Published on Friday, January 6, 2017

Pilots fear drone collison as number of near-misses doubles

Pilots are warning of a possible drone collision in 2017 after the number of near-misses more than doubled in 2016

The British Airline Pilots' Association fears 2017 could see even more close calls involving drones and aircraft - or perhaps even a collision - as the figures rise.

In total in 2016 there were 69 reported incidents of drone near-misses with aircraft, up from 29 in 2015. In 2013 there were none.

Drones were one of the most sought-after Christmas gifts once again in 2016.

Steve Landells, BALPA flight safety specialist, said: "Drones can be great fun and we're not surprised at their popularity over Christmas as people received them as presents.

"However, after a significant increase in near-misses last year it seems not everyone who is flying them either know or care about the rules that are in place for good reason.

"That's why we're urging anyone who has a drone to take a look at the Civil Aviation Authority's 'drone code' and be proactive in educating themselves on the rules."

Balpa believes measures should be put in place to allow police to identify and locate anyone who flies a drone in an irresponsible way.


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