Transport minister Robert Goodwill said: “The reported drone strike on Sunday has not been confirmed it was actually a drone. It was the local police force that tweeted that they had a report of a drone striking an aircraft. It may have actually been a plastic bag.”
“I’ve not actually landed a 747 at Heathrow but I’ve landed the simulator and the pilot has a lot of other things to concentrate on so we’re not quite sure what they saw so I think we should maybe not overreact too much.”
Mr. Goodwill dismissed calls for tighter rules on drone use to protect against terror threats, insisting current rules governing drone use were strong enough. He said it would be much easier for terrorists to attack airports on the ground with rucksacks or car bombs than orchestrate the attack from a drone aircraft.
He was also sceptical about calls to force all manufacturers to install GPS coordinates that would prevent drones flying in restricted areas – known as “geo-fencing”. He warned that any moves to enforce geo-fencing rules would be vulnerable to being hacked by “somebody who could get round that software”.
And so for the moment, this tempest in a very British teapot comes to an end. I don’t exactly get the parallel between a 747 and an A320 – I think the point is that the workload is very high and that it seems unlikely that the pilots are spending a lot of time staring out the window when they are 1,700′ off the ground going
I think this is one of the biggest problems associated with all of the reported drone sightings. Not suggesting that idiots aren’t out there, but I am suggesting that the chances of consistently getting a good look given the size of the drone and the speed of the aircraft seems unlikely.