Incidents of drone near misses on the rise: What are the rules for safe and legal drone flying?

Drone users must follow a number of restrictions when using the gadgets
Drone users must follow a number of restrictions when using the gadgets
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Incidents of near misses between aircraft and drones have soared in recent years, with a total of 163 in 2016 and 2017.

A Boeing 737 passenger jet was preparing to land on the flooded runway at East Midlands Airport when a drone passed just 30 metres from a wing in October 2016.

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The workload in the cockpit was already high as the captain was working out the calculations for landing amid severe weather.

A collision was only "narrowly avoided", the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) said.

An Airbus A319 pilot reported that a drone "put 130 lives at risk" after it nearly hit the aircraft in July last year.

The "very large" flying gadget passed directly over the right wing of the airliner which was approaching Gatwick, according to the incident report.

In May 2017 a Loganair pilot was forced to take evasive action after a drone came within 20 metres of his plane as he prepared to land in Edinburgh.

The UK's first reported near miss between an aircraft and multiple drones was witnessed by the crew of an Airbus A320 preparing to land at Heathrow.

The pilots spotted a pair of white, orb-shaped drones alongside the aircraft at 5,500ft over east London in November 2016.

Drone users must follow a number of restrictions when using the gadgets.

In November 2016, the Civil Aviation Authority launched a website to publish a revised code of conduct, called the Drone Code.

The rules say the devices must not be flown:

- Above 400ft (120m);

- Where you cannot see them;

- Near aircraft, airports or airfields;

- Within 150ft (50m) of people or property;

- Over crowds and built-up areas;

- Within 500ft (150m) horizontally of crowds and built-up areas.