Sources speaking to the Times claim that cases of near-misses involving drones and proper aeroplanes full of people are reaching shocking new highs, with four reports of near-misses being recorded in the last month alone.
The Times quotes sources as saying that near-misses between drones and commercial flights were recorded at Heathrow, Birmingham and London's City airports, with the recent four incidents taking the total for the year to July up to seven cases -- and some drones being seen flying literally a handful of metres away from flights taking off and landing.
The most potentially deadly case involved a drone being piloted around Heathrow, with the source claiming it was spotted passing just six metres above the wing of a flight as it came in to land. Another case, where a drone came within 50 feet of an Airbus A320 in the process of landing, was reported back in March.
Our lawmakers are already considering plans to launch a drone ownership database while also cobbling together some sort of parallel drone-only air traffic control system to try to keep them away from jet engines and celebrity weddings, but with drones getting smaller, cheaper and faster, it's going to be a hard job to stop the nation's kids dive-bombing them into cockpit windows for a laugh. [The Times]