“Collision between drone and aircraft can be a catastrophe’cause

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The busy London Gatwick went flat after drones were spotted. Also with us, there are more and more incidents with unmanned airplanes. Drones and airports do not go together.’

At Gatwick Airport, the second airport of London, were Wednesday a little after 22 hours, all flights shut down, after two drones were spotted in the vicinity of the airport. To 3 hours during the night was the runway …

At Gatwick Airport, the second airport of London, were Wednesday a little after 22 hours, all flights shut down, after two drones were spotted in the vicinity of the airport. To 3 hours during the night was the runway in use, to 45 minutes later closed again to be once again drones spotted. Also Thursday afternoon was a drone seen. The British police is certain that it is a deliberate act. “Every time we the airport would reopen, turns up the drone.’

‘We, too, respond very carefully to reports of drones’, responds Dominique Dehaene, spokesman of the air traffic controller Skeyes, the former Belgocontrol. ‘If you see what the impact will be of a birdstrike (collision with a bird, red.), you need not ask what would happen if a drone against a plane aanvliegt. Such a crash can have catastrophic consequences.’

‘A drone in an aircraft engine environment. That can be very dangerous’, confirms Anke Franssen from Brussels Airport. Drones and airports do not go together. After an awareness-raising campaign we have, therefore, “no-drone-zone”signs hung in open places near the airport. Dronepiloten prefer that great plains because they had a good view on their device.”

Not visible on the radar

At the Belgian airports each year more incidents involving drones have been reported: where there in 2015, still ‘only’ 6 incidents were reported, there were this year already 30. That can go from a simple observation to an almost-collision with a plane. The largest incident occurred in October last year near the airport in Liege. Air traffic had to be diverted because three drones of two meters in the airspace were identified. ‘The problem is that drones are not visible on the radar, so the pilots have to visually identify, ” says Dehaene. “If a drone is in sight of flies of our air traffic controllers in the tower, which of course is already very, very close.’

“If a drone is spotted, immediately to the nearest police patrol on two degrees,” says Franssen. ‘Often realize pilots are not that they do wrong.’ According to Skeyes, it is also difficult for the police to conclusions. “You can the drone see, but you still would not know where the pilot is located. It is difficult to punish.’

Pilots who, with their drone too close to the airport, risking a minimum of an administrative fine of 150 euros. “That amount rises rapidly, if the person with the license or registration is not in order,” says Sven Heyndrickx of the FPS Mobility. “Often we see that the pilots who do such a thing, of the laws have nothing to wear.’ For pilots, such as in Gatwick a airport stalling, the public prosecutor’s office enabled, according to Heyndrickx. ‘That dronepiloten will not with a small fine from. Airlines also damage members, will probably knock on your door.’

More drones than planes

“On very short-term there will be many more drones than conventional planes’, warns Dehaene. Skeyes also wants the controller for the drones. “We are behind the development of that sector, but we must have regard to the safety of the traditional air traffic. We do research, but also work in the direction of legislation, together with the EU. Big players like Amazon are also working on technological developments for the drones to better follow.’

Skeyes launched earlier this year, the Droneguide application. Owners of drones can look on a map the no-fly-zones to see and inform himself about the rules. Commercial dronepiloten can the app look at what license they where, and under what circumstances allowed to fly. Soon they would also direct admission can ask to be in prohibited areas be allowed to fly.

Recreational pilots (private use) are permitted only with a drone of less than a kilogram of fly, and that only over private property and not less than 3 kilometres from an airport or a civil or military airport. The drones are allowed to a maximum height of 10 metres (about the height of a house) to rise. Commercial pilots (registered drone) are not allowed to fly above controlled airspace (such as in an airport), industrial complexes, nuclear plants, prisons or places with lots of people. Then can deviations be requested. Drone class 1 (drone of less than 150 kilograms, pilot is 18+ and has a certificate of authority as a director of a RPA): up to 90 metres high and 30 metres from people, buildings and animals.

Drone class 2 (less than 5 kilograms, the pilot is 16+ and has a valid certificate of a director of a RPA): up to 45 metres high, 50 metres of people, buildings and animals and 30 meters of obstacles.

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