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ANAC recorded 46 drone incidents near airports in 2019

The National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) took stock of the incidents that have been recorded with drones in the vicinity of Portuguese airports. In all, 46 events were recorded in 2019, representing a reduction in relation to the 53 cases reported in 2018. In force since January 13, 2017, the ANAC regulation prohibits the flight of these devices to more than 120 meters in height and in the areas of approaching and taking off from airports.

The presence of drones in the airspace access to airports is capable of wreaking havoc, causing inconvenience not only for aircraft pilots, but also for passengers, since the vast majority of flights are suspended or canceled. In 2018, ANAC enacted preventive measures to avoid situations like the one that occurred at Gatwick airport, in London. Nevertheless, drone violations of the airspace continue to cause the suspension of operations, for example, in Spain, where flights at the Adolfo Surez airport to Barajas-Madrid have been canceled, said Enaire, the authority that manages the space. Spanish areo.

According to information sent by ANAC Lusa, in 2019, 24 administrative proceedings were initiated regarding the operation with drones. Only five cases are concluded with fines imposed in the global amount of 4,500 euros, with the remaining 19 awaiting the defense of the defendants, says the civil aviation regulator.

Between 2013 and 2014, ANAC did not report cases of this type of incident, but in 2015, it registered five occurrences. In 2016, the number rose to 17 and, in 2017, there were 37 occurrences. Altogether, between 2015 and 2017, there were 59 incidents of this type in the vicinity of Lisbon, Porto and Faro airports.

The regulator also indicates which computerized drone registration platform will be operational by 1 July. In 2019, ANAC received 3,261 requests for the use of the devices, a figure that represents an increase of around 28% in relation to 2018, when 2,398 were made.

It should be remembered that ANAC has not yet implemented the drone registration law. About a year ago about the approval of the proposed law that regulates the use of the devices, respective rules of operation and authorization in the national airspace. But, for the regulator, this legislation was a complement to the law of January 2017 that prohibits the flight of drones over 120 meters in height and in the areas surrounding the airports.

In July 2018, a decree-law came into force that made the registration of drones over 250 grams mandatory by their owners, as well as the contracting of a civil liability insurance for devices over 900 grams, in order to prevent possible damages that proven to third parties in the event of accidents.

Although the laws are approved on paper, in practice they have not yet been applied by ANAC. In limbo, the decree on mandatory civil liability insurance seems to have remained, which, at the time, the Government had 60 days to publish, and allegedly is not yet closed. In addition, the system for detecting and inhibiting drones that approach airports has not yet been proposed by ANA ANAC as envisaged by the decree-law.