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UAS      operating near big airports - a growing problemThe growing number of UAS operating near very busy airports has become a major safety problem that will have to be addressed soon. Israeli experts say that the current safety procedures are not enough.

In England, an instigation is underway into a near miss between a passenger jet and a drone near Heathrow airport.

The UK Airprox Board (UKAB), which will publish its findings soon, is expected to record an incident risk rating of A – the highest of five categories – defined as a “serious risk of collision”.

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The report, seen by The Sunday Times, said the pilot of an Airbus A320 spotted the drone, which failed to show up on air traffic control systems, at 2.16pm on 22 July while flying at an altitude of 700ft.

The pilot reported the incident to the UKAB, which launched an inquiry, but the owner of the drone has never been identified.

Airbus A320 is a short-haul jet that can carry 180 passengers and is commonly used by European airlines

Earlier this year, the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) demanded better protection for the public from the risks of drones.

It wants UASs, which share airspace with passenger and freight airliners, to meet the same safety standards as piloted aircraft. It includes being flown only by operators with pilot-equivalent training.