Plane Has Near Miss With Drone Coming Into Birmingham Airport

27 January 2017, 14:05

drone flying

It's been revealed a plane was in a near miss with a drone coming into Birmingham Airport

The DH8 turboprop aircraft was on its final approach into Birmingham Airport when the pilot spotted the device, the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) said.

He reported that the drone was hovering above a primary school at the same altitude as his plane as he was coming in to land on September 7 last year.

The aircraft continued on its flightpath to the airport as its separation with the drone was estimated to be around 500 metres.

West Midlands Police were informed of the incident but they were unable to locate the drone or its operator.

Contact was also made with the school to alert them about the presence of the drone.

The near miss report concluded: "The drone operator, by operating at that position and altitude on the approach path to Birmingham Airport, had flown the drone into conflict and had endangered the DH8 and its passengers.''

It was one of seven near misses between aircraft and drones in the latest monthly UKAB report, bringing the total over the past 12 months to 60.

The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) wants the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to back research into the possible consequences of a drone hitting a passenger jet.

Former RAF and British Airways pilot Steve Landells has warned that a drone hitting an airliner could result in an uncontrolled engine failure or a smashed cockpit windscreen.

CAA rules state that drones must not be flown above 400ft or near airports or airfields.

In November it launched a new website to publish its revised code of conduct for drones, labelled the dronecode.

Ministers are considering introducing mandatory registration for new drones in a bid to crack down on reckless users.

The proposal is part of a DfT consultation on improving drone safety.

It is hoped the scheme could help authorities identify the owners of drones which are flown illegally.