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April 19, 2016

BACA calls for better regulations to control use of drones

Europe's Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) has demanded that immediate action be taken regarding the use of drones.

By Lopamudra Roy

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Europe’s Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) has demanded that immediate action be taken regarding the use of drones.

The news follows a recent incident that involved a British Airways flight colliding with a drone on arrival at London Heathrow Airport.

Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch had launched an investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) stated that the incident needs to be investigated by the Metropolitan Police.

BACA chairman Richard Mumford was quoted by Defenseworld as saying: "This incident clearly demonstrates the urgent need for better legislation to control the use of drones.

"While we fully understand the importance of supporting innovation in the market for UAVs, safety and security issues must be paramount.

"The effects of ingestion of a UAV into a commercial aircraft engine, striking a propeller blade or helicopter rotor blade are untested, but are likely to cause the engine to shut down, drastically increasing pilot workload in the critical and busiest flight phases of take-off, approach and landing.

"While we fully understand the importance of supporting innovation in the market for UAVs, safety and security issues must be paramount."

"The implications of a collision between a drone and a small aircraft would likely be far more devastating."

According to the CAA, drone operators must follow all rules and regulations for flying drones, and not fly them near airports.

Pilots’ associations have asked for drones to be fitted with geo-fencing technology, which uses GPS software to provide height and distance limits, and prevent them from flying into restricted areas.

Mumford added: "We are concerned that the current reactive approach to regulation of the use of drones can only lead to continuing escalation of the number and seriousness of the incidents that occur.

"We firmly believe that urgent, proactive action must be taken to reverse that trend and to improve aviation safety."


Image: Drone operators must follow proper rules to ensure the safety of all airspace users. Photo: courtesy of Victor Habbick / Freedigitalphotos.

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