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European Commission, commercial operators grappling to regulate low-flying drones as recreational users multiply

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, BRUSSELS – Around 10,000 international flights a day pass through global skies, but the traffic high above our heads may soon be obscured by a dense swarm of buzzing drones. While manned aircraft numbers grow by 750 a year, the number of drones — formally known as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) — mushrooms by 150,000 a year, with over four million already in the sky.

In this increasingly clouded airspace, close-calls and even collisions between manned and unmanned craft may be inevitable. In 2015, airline pilots reported…

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