Drone in ‘near miss’ over International Airport

An Unmanned Ariel Vehicle, more commonly known as a ‘Drone’, endangered a commercial airliner as it flew into Birmingham International Airport in September 2016.

The airliner was flying at approximately 500ft on its final approach into Birmingham Airport when the pilot spotted the drone about 500 feet away.

Given the seriousness of the incident, both the Police and UK Airprox Board (“UKAB”) were notified but the Police were unable to locate the drone or its operator.

Although the UKAB ultimately concluded that the drone had passed sufficiently clear of the airliner, such that there was no risk of collision, the report says;

members agreed that the drone operator, by operating at that position and altitude on the approach path to Birmingham Airport, had flown the drone into conflict and had endangered that airliner and its passengers’

The Law | Drones

The law in relation to flying drones is similar to that of  governing private pilots and the relevant provisions are contained within the Air Navigation Order (‘ANO’).

The ANO sets out the provisions which drone operators/pilots must adhere to.

These state that the operator must keep the drone in sight at all times and must not fly it:

  • above 400ft (120m)
  • over or within 500ft of any congested area
  • within 150ft of any, vessel, vehicle or structure
  • within 150ft of any person, except during take-off or landing
  • into Controlled Airspace

Failure to comply with these legal requirements can result in arrest, interview under caution and, ultimately, criminal prosecution.

Breaches that are deemed so serious as to ultimately endanger the safety of an aircraft can result in a prison sentence.

Prisons | Drones | Importing Drugs and Mobile Phones

In addition to drones being used in contravention of the ANO, they are also used to transport drugs, mobile phones  and other prohibited items into prisons and, as a result of which, some prisons are being forced to take extreme measures such as covering all outside areas with nets.

The number of drone operators being caught and prosecuted is ever increasing.

Where Can We Help? | Drones | Kangs Criminal Solicitors

Where you have been caught flying your drone incorrectly, transporting prohibited articles into prison by drone or otherwise breaching the ANO, we can help.

It is likely that you will be arrested, interviewed under caution and, possibly, prosecuted with the expectation of imprisonment, for some offences.

It is important, therefore, that whatever the allegation, you obtain expert advice as early as possible.

We are able to represent you from the start of the process all the way through to the end.

If you have been arrested or asked to attend an interview under caution, then please contact us to discuss how we can assist in order to secure the best possible outcome.

Who Can I Contact? | Kangs Solicitors


Steven Micklewright
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 | 07989 521 210

Sukhdip Randhawa 
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 | 07989 521 210