UK passenger plane in near-miss with drone at Heathrow airport

London, Dec 7: A passenger jet had a near-miss with a drone near Heathrow airport in the first such incident recorded at one of the world's biggest airports in the UK.

The incident involving an Airbus A320, which can carry up to 180 passengers, was rated as among the most serious near-collisions, 'The Sunday Times' reported.


A report into the incident this week comes amid concern over the threat to aircraft from domestic drones flown by amateurs - especially as they are given as Christmas presents.

Drones, with prices ranging from only 35 pounds to 3,350 pounds, have proved to be one of the most popular Christmas presents.

The plane involved in the incident back in July was flying at an altitude of 700 ft when the pilot saw the drone.  He reported the sighting and an inquiry was launched by the UK Airprox Board (UKAB), which investigates all reported near-misses.

The official report is due to be published on Friday but UKAB has initially recorded the incident risk rating as A — the highest of its five categories.

Investigators were unable to identify the drone (or UAV, unmanned aerial vehicle) and it did not show up on air traffic control radar.

It is believed that the aircraft in the Heathrow incident was not considered to be in immediate danger, although a collision with an engine or cockpit window could have put the jet at serious risk. 


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