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Stricter rules on the qualifications needed to fly drones in urban areas need to be introduced, according to the result of a consumer poll organised by the British Airline Pilots’ Association.
Half of people also think there should be prison sentences for those flying drones in a way that endangers aircraft.
The survey results will be presented at a Drone Safety Summit today organised by the pilots’ union.
Balpa general secretary, Jim McAuslan, said: “Drone technology is taking off and we want to make sure the country can benefit from the business and leisure opportunities that it could offer without putting flight safety at risk.
“Pilots and the public want the UK to be a ‘safe drone zone’ and these polling results show that the public backs stricter laws on training for drone pilots and punishment for endangering aircraft.
“The UK can lead the way on safely introducing small drones and set the standard for the passenger aircraft of the future.
“Pilots are also calling for the British public to be informed, involved and consulted before companies fly large, remotely-piloted aircraft over their homes and alongside their passenger planes.”