Drone curbs needed, says BA chief amid plane-crash fearsComments Off on Drone curbs needed, says BA chief amid plane-crash fears
THE boss of British Airways has called for the owners of drones in Britain to be put on a register amid increasing fears that they could cause plane crashes.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA owner IAG, said the UK should mimic the Irish aviation authorities, which have introduced a record of owners and operators of the unmanned remote-control craft.
“We will see more restrictions being placed on the ownership of drones. I think it’s sensible [to introduce a register],” he told the Evening Standard. The issue was heightened last month when an object, at first thought to be a drone, hit a BA flight from Geneva coming into Heathrow at 1700 feet.
The pilot has since said that it was an “inert” object — rather than a bird — and could have been a plastic bag.
Speaking aboard BA’s inaugural flight to San José, California, Walsh added: “The Irish aviation authority have already introduced a register for drones. They are ahead of the game and I’d be surprised if the Civil Aviation Authority don’t do the same.
“The more complex they are and with the greater capability to operate at high altitudes, then they could [cause more issues]. A lot of the issues could be dealt with through the registering of owners and operators.”
Safety fears have also been heightened by increasing reports of lasers being shone at planes.
Walsh added: “Anyone shining anything at an aircraft is a concern, you don’t want to distract a pilot. There’s been greater reporting of it, it clearly has been an issue. We’ve had a number of issues of people shining lasers at aircraft. That’s a matter for the police.”