A police investigation is under way after a passenger plane approaching Heathrow Airport hit what is believed to have been a drone.
The British Airways flight from Geneva, with 132 passengers and five crew on board, was hit as it approached the London airport at 12:50 BST on Sunday.
If confirmed, it is believed to be the first incident of its kind in the UK.
BA said it would give the police “every assistance with their investigation”. No arrests have been made, police said.
The Metropolitan Police’s aviation security unit based at Heathrow will lead the investigation.
After safely landing the plane, the pilot reported an object – believed to have been a drone – had struck the front of the Airbus A320.
A BA spokesman said: “Our aircraft landed safely, was fully examined by our engineers and it was cleared to operate its next flight.”
A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesman said it was “totally unacceptable” to fly drones close to airports, and anyone flouting the rules can face “severe penalties, including imprisonment”.
Steve Landells, from the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), said it had been “only a matter of time before we had a drone strike”. He called for greater enforcement of existing rules.
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Flying a drone near an airport can already be punished with up to five years in prison, and rules also forbid taking them above 400ft (122m) or near buildings and crowds of people.
But the latest incident will only add to the pressure for further steps to be taken.
The US recently introduced a compulsory registration scheme so any drone recovered from an accident can be traced back to its owner.
In addition, officials could make it mandatory for drones to run geo-fencing software – that would prevent …read more
Source:: BBC UK