Drone nearly collides with plane at Glasgow Airport; not an isolated incident, report finds

In September, a plane taking off from Glasgow Airport came within 15 metres of crashing into a drone, according to an inquiry report.

On 8 September 2017, the report found that there was a “high” risk of collision between the Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft - which are used commercially - and the drone as it took off.

The Airprox board report said the plane and the drone were 30 metres apart vertically and 15 metres horizontally.

“The DH8 pilot reports that he was on departure from Glasgow, during the acceleration he noticed a small black object moving towards the aircraft,” the report reads.

“As it got closer he could see it was a drone; it was black and had an object or device attached below. In the space of about three seconds they had narrowly missed it, there was no time to take avoiding action.”

The report concluded that “the drone was being flown in the vicinity of an airfield departure lane such that it was endangering other aircraft at that location and altitude”.

The incident was not isolated and although it may have been one of the closer potential accidents, the Airprox report showed over 10 similar events that took place between August and October.

The near-miss also bears similarities with an incident at Edinburgh Airport in May when a pilot was forced to take evasive action after a drone came within 20 metres of his aircraft.

In November it was announced that drone users will be required to register and sit safety awareness tests as part of a government clampdown on rogue operators.

A Europe-wide drone registration system has also been created in response to the increasing number of incidents involving small, unmanned aircraft. 

Police will be given greater powers to prevent unsafe or criminal use of the machines while new technology could be used to create no-fly zones for drones.

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