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After 23 near misses with drones pilots call for action

Airline pilot call for Government to back research into impact of drones on passenger jet safety

A group of pilots are calling for more research to be done into what would happen if a drone hit a plane - after a series of near misses - including one at Southampton airport.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), says a drone passed within two wing lengths of an aircraft last July. In all, there were 23 near misses between April and October last year - including at Detling in Kent, RAF Odiham in Hampshire and at Heathrow Airport.

This report by Sally Simmonds is followed by an interview a representative from BALPA, which is calling for the Government to back more research into the consequences of such a collision.


Twenty-three near misses between drones & planes

A drone flying in the sky

Airline pilots are calling for new research into what could happen if an aircraft engine is hit by a drone.

There were around 23 near misses between aircraft and drones in the last year, including one at Detling in Kent, which came within sixty feet of a passenger jet. Pilots are also calling for existing controls to be better enforced.

Steve Landells from the British Airline Pilots Association said such an impact could cause engine failure or a cracked windscreen.

New budget airline offers cheap US flights from Gatwick

A new budget airline is offering cheaper flights from our region to the United States. It's claimed Norwegian Airlines wants to use a loophole to employ cheap labour for new flights from Gatwick Airport to New York, Los Angeles and Florida.

But, with taxes and extras, it might not be as cheap as it says. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse caught the inaugural flight to New York and sends this report.


Airports and airlines warn of flight delays

Flybe is cancelling some flights Credit: Meridian

Flybe has been asked by the French aviation authorities to reduce its flying programme because of industrial action by air traffic controllers. The company is asking passengers to check its website for information.

Flybe says: "We been advised that French Unions have called for an official six-day strike scheduled to take place in France between 0400 (French local time) Tuesday 24th June and 0400 (French local time) on Monday 30th June, 2014.

The region's other airports, including Gatwick are also issuing advice.

Night flights into Heathrow could double

The number of night flights into Heathrow Airport could double next year as part of plans to ease congestion. Campaign groups have discovered documents from the Davies Commission, which is looking into extra airport capacity in the South East.

Under the scheme the number of arrivals before 6am would rise from 16 to 35. Campaigners say it would cause misery for thousands living under the flightpath. ITV Meridian spoke to Heathrow campaigner, John Stewart.

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