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A DRONE FOR CHRISTMAS?

A modern remote-controlled drone.

A modern remote-controlled drone.

Recently, Biggin Hill Airport received its first pilot report of a remote control ‘drone’ sighting. Whilst the drone concerned did not present an immediate threat to safety, it was nevertheless an unwelcome development. Recent press reports have highlighted the latent threat to civil aviation presented by drone operations in airspace surrounding busy airports and whilst this is the only such sighting at Biggin Hill Airport to date, it is a matter the Airport takes extremely seriously.

“If you are thinking of purchasing a remote controlled ‘drone’ for Christmas, or you already own a drone, then please remember that operating a drone in proximity to an airport may place aircraft in danger since a collision could cause a very serious accident”, says airport Managing Director, Will Curtis.

Every year a number of aircraft using London airports report close encounters with drones. Professional drone operators hold specialist operating licences and undergo training, so they will not make the mistake of operating in air space used by civil or military aviation. Amateur drone operators may not realise the potential dangers of operating in close proximity to an airport, which apart from putting those at on a board aircraft and those on the ground at risk, may also be criminal offence if an aircraft is endangered.

Specific and urgent advice is being given to amateur drone fliers by Will Curtis

“If you are considering the purchase of a drone, or if you are already a drone flier, then please ensure that you do not operate it within at least 2 miles of the airport and always observe UK CAA regulations and never operate your drone above 400 feet above ground level” says Will Curtis.