A file photo of a British Airways Airbus A320 plane similar to the one that was struck by what is believed to be a drone as it came in to land at Heathrow Airport. CREDIT: STEVE PARSONS/PA
by Steven Swinford
The drone that reportedly hit a British Airways jet earlier this week may have actually been a plastic bag, a minister has said.
Transport minister Robert Goodwill admitted authorities had not yet confirmed whether what struck the Airbus A320 was a remote-controlled device.
The collision on Sunday night is believed to have been at around 1,700 ft near Richmond Park in south west London, over four times higher than the legal height limit.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is investigating, alongside the Metropolitan Police.
But following his comments today, Mr Goodwill also 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.
Mr Goodwill 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”.