Unauthorised Flying Object Grounds Flights
Passengers at Edinburgh Airport were left frustrated on Tuesday, February 21, after a drone was flown illegally near the airport. The unauthorised flying object was spotted close to the airport perimeter at around 11am, leading to the grounding of at least one flight. Officers from Police Scotland are on the streets nearby searching for the drone operator, who was caught on the airport’s drone alert system.
Flight Delays and Disruption
The British Airways flight to London that was scheduled to depart at 11.10am was halted due to the drone being near the runway. Passengers were informed of the situation, with the pilots telling them that Edinburgh was on a ground stop. The drone was not on the runway but was reportedly just off the departure end. The drone alert system installed in the tower picked it up.
One passenger on the delayed BA flight said, “apparently, the police are out looking for the operator, but until they find the person or the drone goes away we cannot depart.” Due to the disruption, flight departures from Edinburgh Airport were delayed, with passengers left waiting for further updates.
Drone Flying Regulations
The incident highlights the importance of following drone flying regulations. Drone operators are required to obtain permission from air traffic control before flying within 5km of an airport. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has strict regulations in place to ensure that drones are flown safely and do not pose a risk to other aircraft.
According to the CAA, it is illegal to fly a drone above 400ft, within 50m of people, buildings, or vehicles, or within 150m of a congested area. The CAA has also introduced new drone registration and testing regulations, which came into effect in November 2019, in an effort to improve safety and accountability.
The disruption caused by the drone near Edinburgh Airport highlights the need for responsible drone flying. Drone operators must follow regulations to ensure the safety of other aircraft and people. The incident also highlights the importance of drone detection systems in place at airports to prevent drone-related accidents. As drone technology continues to develop, it is essential that appropriate safety measures and regulations are in place to minimise the risk of incidents.