PHOTO: A drone flying just above a tree. (photo via Flickr/Andrew Turner)
A new report released Friday revealed that three planes flying near London's Heathrow Airport almost hit drones within a three-week period last year, raising safety and security concerns.
According to The Associated Press, the report from the United Kingdom Airprox Board revealed that the three drone incidents took place in October and November 2016. The scariest incident took place when an Airbus A320 plane descending into Heathrow almost struck a drone at around 10,000 feet.
During the Airbus incident, the drone and the plane came within 100 feet vertically and 656 feet horizontally, giving the pilot of the aircraft no time to react. As for the two other close calls, Airprox Board officials said the planes were lucky to not strike the drones.
Drones are not permitted to fly above 400 feet in the United Kingdom, and owners are required to avoid all planes, helicopters, airports and airfields.
The U.K. Airprox Board also revealed in its report that incidents involving passenger airplanes and drones have grown significantly, with 70 near-misses in 2016 as compared to 29 during 2015 and just six in 2014.
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Earlier in March, the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act was introduced in the United States to ensure standards for informing the American public about the location, timing and ownership of unmanned aerial vehicles.
In addition to standardizing drone information, the bill would require privacy protection provisions relating to data collection and minimization, disclosure, warrant requirements for law enforcement and enforcement measures in the licensing and operation of drones.