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Drone laws fail to stop dangerous incidents at Portugal's airports

dronegolfPortugal’s Civil Aviation Authority has reported 43 drone ‘incidents’ between January and September this year, 27 of these were in the summer period.

In 2017, the Authority registered a total of 37 drone incidents resulting in 17 inquiries and nine cases that were passed on to the prosecution service.

The new drone regulations, in force since January, 2017, prohibit the flight of drones above 120 metres and anywhere near the take-off and landing zones of Portugal's airports.

Most of the 43 incidents this year were reported by flight crews who spotted drones as their aircraft came in to land.

Some of these incidents relate only to drone sightings but others forced the suspension of all aircraft movement – this happened at Lisbon and Porto airports.

On September 20th, operations at Lisbon's Humberto Delgado Airport were interrupted between 10:40 p.m. and 10:50 p.m. due to a drone. A dozen flights were delayed, one was cancelled on approach and two had to divert to Faro.

On Sept. 17, an aircraft was forced to change its approach route to Lisbon Airport, after a TAP plane earlier had crossed the path of a drone shortly before landing.

On August 21, a drone fell on the runway at Lisbon Airport shortly after a Captain had been warned of drone activity in the area. This caused the suspension of all flights for eight minutes.

In this case, the Police identified and charged the drone’s owner, a professional photographer who was doing work for a real estate agency and who lost control of the device.

Further tightening of the drone law came into play on July 28 this year, which made it obligatory to register any drone weighing over 250 grammes, obligatory to have civil liability insurance for drones weighing above 900 grammes and stipulating a ‘sanctions framework’ for drone operators who break the law.

Fines of between €300 and €7,500 can be issued and drones can be seized but this seems to have had little effect on those whose pastime involves putting aircraft at risk.

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Comments  

0 #4 Alexander 2018-10-28 07:09
We found out after the event that a holidaymaker renting our viklla had commissioned a drone survey of our property without consent. Can we license these operators and developers?
+1 #3 TT 2018-10-27 20:52
Quoting Dennis.P:
It is quite idiotic to be flying drones anywhere near airports but we must also factor in Portugal's history of PIDE and snouts; catching out their neighbours. Often just to settle minor squabbles but with terminal or at least serious difficulties for the quite possibly innocent person accused.
So even today in Portugal there are many types of photographic illegality such as overflying a video drone on someone else's land and publishing dash cam footage. In theory just filming and publishing a busy street scene needs everyone's permission.

The issue here isn't the filming or the illegality of it, it's the idiots doing the flying near airports. And the even bigger idiots who thought that imposing laws would prevent such behaviour.
+1 #2 Dennis.P 2018-10-26 08:40
It is quite idiotic to be flying drones anywhere near airports but we must also factor in Portugal's history of PIDE and snouts; catching out their neighbours. Often just to settle minor squabbles but with terminal or at least serious difficulties for the quite possibly innocent person accused.
So even today in Portugal there are many types of photographic illegality such as overflying a video drone on someone else's land and publishing dash cam footage. In theory just filming and publishing a busy street scene needs everyone's permission.
+3 #1 Charly 2018-10-25 18:36
Yes indeed there are lots of "irresponsible people" in Portugal, as well in politics as in daily life.

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