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Investigation launched following drone strike on BA flight

19 April 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, International Airport Review

An investigation has launched following reports that a British Airways flight travelling from Geneva was hit by an unmanned drone whilst approaching Heathrow Airport.

Investigation launched following drone strike on BA flight

British Airways flight BA727 travelling from Geneva, Switzerland was reportedly struck by an unmanned aerial vehicle during its final approach to Heathrow Airport on Sunday 17 April 2016. The pilot of the Airbus A320 reported the incident after landing safely at the airport.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has announced it will be investigating an occurrence involving an unmanned air vehicle and a passenger aircraft approaching London Heathrow Airport.

‘Anyone operating a drone must do so responsibly and observe all relevant rules and regulations’

A spokesperson from the Civil Aviation Authority said: “The CAA is aware of a possible incident with a drone at Heathrow on Sunday 17 April which is subject to investigation by the Metropolitan Police. Safety is our first priority. Anyone operating a drone must do so responsibly and observe all relevant rules and regulations. The rules for flying drones are designed to keep all airspace users safe. It is totally unacceptable to fly drones close to airports and anyone flouting the rules can face severe penalties including imprisonment.”

Heathrow airport also released a statement following the incident:

“Heathrow’s top priority is the safety of our passengers and colleagues.

Anyone operating an unmanned aerial vehicle has an obligation to know the rules and ensure they are capable of operating it safely.  Doing so in proximity to an airfield or aircraft is both illegal and clearly irresponsible.

Stronger regulation and enforcement action must be a priority for the Government to ensure that the airspace around British airports remains amongst the safest in the world.

We will continue to work with our industry partners to ensure that any violation of airspace is fully prosecuted.”

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