Hazard warnings issued after near-crash drone incident reported on Blackpool promenade


Blackpool Airport, without commenting on the incident in question, said anyone using a drone or model airplane should be aware of the restricted flight areas along the Fylde coast to avoid any accidents.

As of March 2019, there are drone flight restriction zones around all airports and airfields where it is illegal to fly a drone, at any time, in restricted areas, unless the operator has the air traffic control clearance.

The Fylde Coast Restricted Areas include the airspace around Warton Airfield and around Blackpool Airport in a circle running from Ansdell in the south to the north of South Pier.

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Drones can pose a risk to airplanes if they fly too close to flight paths

The incident, which occurred while the Promenade was occupied by visitors, was reported by specialist security firm Drone Defense Services, which monitors no-fly zones across the UK for flights from drones.

Its report said: ‘Just after 3pm on October 15, an illegally flown drone and a manned IKARUS C42 light aircraft approached within 330 feet of each other over South Pier in Blackpool in the area. Blackpool Airport Flight Restriction.

The private IKARUS C42 with tail number G-ZOMB took off from Manchester City Airport in Barton at 1:16 pm before flying to Blackpool Airport via Southport. At 3:02 pm the plane was flying at 600 feet above South Pier as a drone flew 750 feet. “

Victoria Kay of Drone Defense Services said the incident highlighted the danger of irresponsible use of the R / C model aircraft and how certain areas of the sky need to be cleared.

Screenshot of Drone Defense Ltd from its AeroTracker software showing the flight path of the light aircraft and the location near the kart track from which the drone was flying.

She said: “Obviously if a pilot is distracted during a critical maneuver it can be a danger and the drone gets into the engine, whether it is a jet engine or a propeller. , then a crash could occur.

“This incident took place in a very busy area and therefore could have been disastrous.”

A spokesperson for Blackpool Airport said: ‘It is Blackpool Airport’s policy not to comment on reports of third party external incidents.

“The airport urges all potential drone operators to act within the law and comply with CAA legal regulations, ensuring that the appropriate permits and licenses are in place before using a drone.

A map showing the aerial areas of the Fylde coast which are restricted to drones for security reasons.

“Blackpool Airport has a ‘no-fly zone’ in place and requests should be made to the airport seven days in advance of any flight activity.

“The airport has a strict safeguard policy and operational and aviation safety is of the utmost importance in accordance with all CAA regulations.”

The Blackpool Airport Security website states: “Anyone wishing to fly a drone to film the illuminations in the vicinity of the airport (from Central Pier to Starr Gate) would need permission from flight control. Blackpool Airport air traffic via the Airport Drone Flight Application website connect. A CAA-approved professional drone operator qualification is generally required to fly in this area.

“While we don’t want to prevent people from having fun, it’s important that they don’t pose a risk to other planes or people. “

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