Heathrow drone collision: David Davis MP calls for 'tighter control' and 'prison sentences'

Heathrow drone collision: David Davis MP calls for 'tighter control' and 'prison sentences'

David Davis MP

Monday, April 18, 2016

David Davis MP has called for tighter control of drones after one was involved in a suspected collision with an Airbus A320 above Heathrow Airport. 

Police have launched an investigation into the incident, which allegedly took place as British Airways flight 727 from Geneva approached the airport at 12:50pm on Sunday. Once safely on the runway, the pilot reported to the police an 'object' had struck the front of the plane.

Current rules for drones don't allow flight within 50 metres of a person, structure, or vehicle. A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority warned any breach of this could result in "severe penalties, including imprisonment."

Last year, the House of Lords EU committee called for compulsory licensing for drone users but David Davis, who is also the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones, disputed how effective this would be.

"I'm not sure how well you can license them," he told Paul Ross. "There must be a way of putting them under more control than there is now [though]. It's certainly necessary to do."

Despite his concerns over licensing, the former Shadow Home Secretary told listeners the consequences for flying a drone near an airport must be severe. 

"It's just not sensible," he added. "This drone must have been flying illegally. There should be prison sentences for people who do this, they're putting hundreds of lives at risk."