Safe use of drones would protect Heathrow
In the first six months of 2016, there were more reported near misses between drones and aircraft over the UK than in the whole of 2015. More recently, a drone the size of a football flew within 20m of a passenger jet as it approached Heathrow Airport. With drone use becoming increasingly popular, I am raising awareness of how to use drones safely to ensure such incidents are avoided.
Public use of UAVs and drones has been growing for some time now, with drones becoming cheaper and more toy-like. However, the effect of their presence near aircraft in the sky is very real. When using drones, please ensure that they are visible at all times, flown below 400ft and not flown over congested areas. The safer drones are flown, the more they can be used and the safer Heathrow Airport and its passengers will be. I am calling on the Home Secretary to do more to protect the residents of Ealing, if actions aren’t taken soon then it is only a matter of time until a horrible accident.
Because of this threat I have asked the Home Secretary to take action to improve safety for those of us living near Heathrow. I have also asked her to support a new information awareness campaign to ensure that UAV and drone flyers know the danger they may pose if they ignore the regulations.”
Virendra Sharma MP
An investigation into the near miss around Heathrow Airport has concluded that the drone had endangered the lives of those on the plane as a collision had only narrowly been avoided. In response, Sion Roberts, head of drone training academy RUSTA, said, “It is vital that distributors and sellers make their customers aware of the rules.”
The Civil Aviation Authority have stated that it is “totally unacceptable to fly drones close to aircraft and airports” and that “anyone flouting the rules can face severe penalties including time in prison.”