After the recent Gatwick incident, questions are raised about how safe drones are
The disruption at Gatwick Airport earlier this week caused chaos to travellers after a drone was seen flying close to the runway.
The runway was then forced to close, with several flights diverted to other airports.
Pilots have now warned that more must be done to regulate the drones to prevent any future accidents.
However, some regulations are currently only in place for drones weighing over 20kg, leaving little restrictions for anything less than that.
Laws which deter misuse of drones specifically and protect the safety of air passengers need urgent consideration
Nick Gibbons, cyber security expert and partner at BLM told Express.co.uk about what it means for the industry safety: “With the Queen’s Speech discussing legislation to ensure the UK as a leader in new industries and technologies, laws which deter misuse of drones specifically and protect the safety of air passengers, and indeed the wider public, need urgent consideration.
“Before May was over, the UK Airprox Board had recorded 33 incidents of drones being flown too close to aircraft.
“Drones are being used to cause mayhem with flights, drop contraband into prisons, and are at real risk of being hacked into for valuable personal or commercial data – yet specific legislation is practically non-existent.
“Despite the Civil Aviation Authority’s Dronecode explicitly instructing drone operators to avoid flying above 400ft and near aircraft, these incidences of misuse continue to occur.”
Drones flying near planes could cause disaster if sucked into the engine
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) is now requesting drone users to be registered, so those causing any danger can be traced by authorities.
The pilots’ union’s flight safety specialist Steve Landells stated: “If the user has endangered an aircraft, we would like to see the culprit prosecuted; endangering an aircraft has a maximum sentence of five years in prison.”
It’s not just the collision of a drone to a plane that can cause problems.
Fears over them being used to carry explosives is also a threat, especially in light of recent terror threats throughout Europe.
Calls for stricter regulations on drones is currently being debated
It’s not the first time a drone has had a near miss.
Earlier this year a passenger jet narrowly avoided a collision with a drone over Hertfordshire.
Recorded incidents relating to drones has tripled in the past year.
Police are also requesting tougher drone laws to tackle the issue.