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International body proposes a plan for authorising drone flights, but operators may choose to fly under the radar instead

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – The plague of unmanned aerial vehicles – otherwise known as UAVs, or simply ‘drones’ – continues over European airports. In mid-August, UK police issued a statement saying that commercial flights approaching Newcastle Airport were placed in a holding pattern after a drone was spotted. The drone was not tracked, and its operator was not identified. Elsewhere, Sweden’s busiest airport, Arlanda, suspended flights four times in August in response to rogue drone flights, while its second-busiest airport of Bromma has halted its operations three times. In response, national authorities are racing to find ways to police drone activity, while allowing responsible operators to develop fully the drone industry’s vast commercial possibilities. Toward that goal, on 31 July the…

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