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Report reveals Airbus missed drone by just metres at Gatwick Airport

The crew claim that had autopilot been on then they could have collided with the drone.

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A report just released has revealed that an Airbus A320 narrowly avoided hitting a drone as it came in to land at Gatwick Airport back in the summer.

This is the second narrow miss reported by crew as they came in to land at Gatwick this year. In April another A320 crew reported having to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

This occasion the drone was much closer though.

The report by the UK Airprox Board says that the A320 pilot was in the late stages of a manual ILS approach into Gatwick.

Interestingly it also says that the crew had taken on extra fuel dure to reports of drone activtity in the London area and also by the controller.

As the plane descended past 350ft the captain called out “drone” which both crew saw being slightly left ahead of them.

The crew were able to keep visual contact with the drone as they flew past but the drone was only 100m away and at the same height as the plane.

The crew were unable to make an evasive manoevre due to the speed of the event and they later reported that if the plane had still been on autopilot then they believed there was a high probablity they would have struck the drone.

The first officer, a drone enthusiast, identified the drone as a DJI Inspire.

The incident happened on the 8th July and was classed as a category A which is the highest risk category given.

Business

Crawley MP Henry Smith launches aviation recovery plan

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Crawley MP and Future of Aviation Group Chair Henry Smith has launched the Group’s Aviation Recovery Plan to support the sector through the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Henry said;

“I’ve established and Chair the Future of Aviation Group, a cross-party coalition of MPs supporting the sector and urging the Government to take further action to assist this world-class industry.

“While Government deserves credit for stepping in and furloughing around 44,000 airline employees, it’s clear that the aviation sector needs further support for its employees.

“With Gatwick Airport in our borough boundary I’ve been clear that aviation’s recovery is not only about flights and trade, but what this vital sector means to hard-working families and whose employees have, in many cases, given significant periods of their lives to their careers.

“For their security we’re calling for a sector-specific extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

“I’m asking the Transport Secretary and his Cabinet colleagues to support the Future of Aviation Group’s Aviation Recovery Plan, which has protecting jobs and supporting businesses at its heart.”

The points included in the plan are;

    1: Introduce COVID-19 testing

    2: Introduce regional travel corridors

    3: An employment support package to March 2021

    4: Support the green recovery

    5: Take action on business rates

    6: Temporary suspension of Air Passenger Duty

    7: Support for UK travel inbound tourism

    8: Absorption of CAA/NATS charges for 2020-21

    9: Airspace modernisation

    10: Bring forward public procurement and accelerate public investment

Henry continued;

“It’s estimated that it could take a number of years to get international travel figures up to 2019 levels. We’ve heard the warnings, and it is time for action.

“The scale of the challenges encountered by the aviation, travel and tourism sectors would have been unimaginable only six months ago.

“Through the adoption of these and other policy recommendations being made by the Future of Aviation Group, the Government can reduce the scale of disruption of COVID-19 on this important industry for Crawley and UK-wide.”

The Future of Aviation Group’s Aviation Recovery Plan can be read here

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