Pilots warn drones may cause air disaster

More must be done following incident at Gatwick, pilots say
A drone flying close to aircraft at London’s Gatwick airport stopped flights there twice at the weekend, prompting the UK’s pilots association to renew calls for better regulation and education.
The incident on Sunday forced the airport to shut down the runway for two periods, of nine minutes and five minutes.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association has for some time been voicing its concern about the rise in near misses involving drones.
It is calling for better education of users, with compulsory registration where the rules are made clear and more high-profile prosecutions for offenders.
“Yet another incident at Gatwick involving drones shows that the threat of drones being flown near manned aircraft must be addressed before we see a disaster,” the association’s flight safety specialist Steve Landells warned.
“Drones can be great fun, and have huge commercial potential, but with a significant increase in near-misses in recent years it seems not everyone who is flying them either know or care about the rules that are in place for good reason.
“While we take no issue with people who fly their drones in a safe and sensible manner, some people who fly them near airports or densely populated areas are behaving dangerously.
“We believe a collision, particularly with a helicopter, has the potential be catastrophic.”
TTG Nordic


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