A tax on aeromodellers?
I enjoyed and appreciated Steve Slater’s article on the CAA’S latest act of stupidity, which will do untold damage to the UK aviation industry in the long-term. We all know the vital importance of getting youngsters interested in aviation early – and that aeromodelling is the affordable route. But Steve makes the same mistake as so many others, in parroting the DFT lines about ‘illegal drone flights’, ‘disruption at major airports’, ‘irresponsibly flown drones’, ‘safety hazard to manned aviation’ etc.
For the avoidance of any doubt, there is no proof that any drone has ever flown close to a manned aircraft in the UK, or has been present during any airport disruption.
I’ll say that again another way: The UK Airprox Board has published more than three hundred and fifty ‘Drone Airprox’ reports – and has not proved that a single one actually happened. And it is patently obvious that a huge proportion never happened, as they would involve drones with range, speed and endurance massively greater than the best that modern technology can provide. (For example, UKAB report 2019046 features a ‘near miss’ with a drone some twenty miles offshore at nine thousand feet. A more plausible explanation is available here: (https://www.f light safety board. org.uk/files/2019046-flightSafety-board-report.pdf)
The UK Airprox Board publishes every single drone spotting report they receive, no matter how outlandish, without any filtering or burden of proof. These reports delight the media – and alarm the airline pilots – who then ‘see’ drones everywhere. Any ‘drone safety problem’, if it exists at all, is massively over-stated. The big problem is psychological.
The DFT is busily inventing more and more regulations to deal with the drone bogeyman because none of the jobsworths has the wit to go and actually understand the totally bogus nature of the data they are using. Mark Dale, York