According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), there have been situations where drones have had near collisions with an aircraft. Politicians in the United States are thinking of putting up a new law that will give authorities the power to disable drones that fly close to airports.
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The U.S. Senate on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, passed the measure as part of a general aviation bill as a way of responding to the rising concerns about drone safety. This comes right after a suspected crash-in between a British Airways plane and a drone just close to London’s Heathrow Airport.
A lot of start-up companies are already looking to provide solutions to the problem. The U.S. Senate passed the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) re-authorization legislation, which could also give a chance for the commercial deployment of drones in national airspace.
A democrat from Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson brought to everyone’s knowledge the safety features and also mentioned that a drone stuck in a jet engine could make it not work or start an explosion.
Contained in the bill are new rules that will make commercial airliners be forced to separate flight-critical systems from in-flight entertainment systems owing to concerns that the aircraft could be remotely taken control of by hackers. Police said the inbound Airbus had been struck by the suspected drone.
According to what the British Aviation Authority told BBC on the suspected collision between the drone and the aircraft, “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. 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.”
It is not confirmed that the plane was indeed hit by a drone as Minister of transport Robert Goodwill said to parliament, “there’s some speculation it may have even been a plastic bag or something”.
Current rules state that drones must comply with the following:
- Always visible
- Must be flown at height less than 400 ft (122 m)
- Must not be flown over congested areas
- Drones fitted with cameras should not be flown within 50 m of people, vehicles, or buildings
- Eagle defense
SkySafe, a tech start-up, has recently launched a new technology that allows law enforcement agencies to take over a drone’s controls and neutralize it remotely. “We fully take control of the drone from the operator, it sees us as the legitimate controller, and we can move it to a safe location and land it,” co-founder Grant Jordan told The Verge tech news Web site.
On the other hand, tech firm Battelle has made a radio jammer named Drone Defender, which also lets users hijack the controls of a drone from its owner. At the moment, only government agencies can make use of the device.
Eagles has been tried in the Netherlands and the UK’s Metropolitan Police is considering employing the device to shut down rogue drones.