Near misses between drones and planes keep on rising

Phantom drone
A drone, safely on the ground.

If you've bought yourself a shiny new drone in recent months we hope you're being very careful about where you fly it: the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reporting a three-fold increase in the number of near misses between drones and full-sized aircraft.

Back in 2014, incidents of pilots spotting drones in the air averaged out at less than one a day; in the FAA's most recent report that's jumped to 3.5 a day. In an attempt to tackle the issue, the agency has set up a drone registry to match owners to their unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

One of the most serious incidents happened last September, the FAA reports, when the pilot of an American Airlines jet had to swerve to avoid a drone en route to Charlotte, North Carolina. The incident happened at around 3,500 feet.

Do you know where your drone is?

Both the FAA in the US and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK have published guidelines on what you can and can't do with a drone. Unsurprisingly, "keep your drone away from aircraft, helicopters, airports and airfields" is included in the list.

You should also be keeping your drone in sight at all times and making sure it doesn't go higher than 400 feet in the air. Drones with cameras should be kept away from people, buildings and large crowds, the CAA says.

The problem is unlikely to go away any time soon: the FAA estimates that around seven million drones will be buzzing through the skies by 2020 - that's three times the number of UAVs currently in operation.

Via: The Guardian

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.