Pilots’ representatives in the UK believe the risk of a drone collision with aircraft is increasing, after claiming a doubling of reported encounters.
The UK cockpit union BALPA says 69 airprox incidents involving drones were reported in UK airspace last year.
BALPA points out that this is more than double the figure of 29 for 2015, and that the increasing interest in drone use – particularly following the holiday season – is likely to exacerbate the issue.
“After a significant increase in near misses last year, it seems not everyone who is flying them either know or care about the rules,” says BALPA flight safety specialist Steve Landells.
He points out that drones should be equipped to transmit sufficient data for law enforcement personnel to trace the operator in the event of transgression.
“Owing to the huge numbers of drones being sold, more technological solutions will undoubtedly be required to address this problem, and should be mandated,” he says. “If the user has endangered an aircraft, we would like to see the culprit prosecuted.”