The UK Airprox Board, responding to a Freedom of Information Act Request from Airprox Reality Check, said it has had no proof a drone has ever flown close to an aircraft in UK skies.
UKAB also revealed to the group, which was formed as a response to the misrecording of drone airproxes in the UK, that there is no confirmation that a drone has ever been involved in any of the drone airprox reports published to date.
Airprox Reality Check says it believes the so-called false reports are resulting in economic and societal damage.
It therefore analyses drone airprox reports using a series of filters and awards each one a ‘Reality Score’
In response to the FOI request, UKAB stated: “In all cases UKAB has no confirmation that a drone has flown close to an aircraft other than the report made by the pilot(s).
“Similarly, other than from the report of the pilot(s), UKAB has no confirmation that a drone was involved.”
Simon Dale of Airprox Reality Check, the group which submitted the request, commented: “We have the crazy situation where completely unproven, unscrutinised, ‘UFO’ reports (which often describe drones being spotted at altitudes and locations that are impossible) have been used by the Government to drive regulation, as if they were solid, proven, facts.
“They are, in fact, totally uncorroborated eyewitness accounts, and are generally based on the simple errors of perception to which humans are prone. In several cases we have shown that the object observed was in fact a manned aircraft in the distance, not a drone at all.”
He continued: “The government is mid-way through introducing legislation based on this now discredited data. Given that it is now clear that the drone airprox reports are entirely unproven, and in the vast majority of cases, entirely bogus, the Government must recognise the huge mistake it has made, and cancel the proposed regulations before they do irreparable harm to the drone industry, model flying community, and, in the longer term, the whole aviation sector.”