Full report obtained by El Reg casts doubt on public test conclusions
Exclusive A British drone collision study used as evidence for the government’s flagship drone pilot registration law found UAVs pose less of a risk to airliners than government officials and trade unions have claimed.
The study, which the government refused to reveal in full despite being asked by industry and news media alike, is the key piece of supposedly scientific evidence backing its proposed Drone Bill.
The risks caused by drones to manned aircraft were allegedly quantified by the study.
A press release summary of the drone collision study, first published when the government revealed its registration plans last year, was used by airline pilots’ trade union BALPA as evidence of a “proven drone collision threat”.
In reality, the full study – carried out on behalf of the government by defence R company Qinetiq and testing firm Natural Impacts – found that for airliners, the risk posed was far less alarming than both the union and the Department for Transport had claimed.