Drone gets dangerously close to passenger plane near Copenhagen Airport

Air traffic controllers seeing more drone challenges

A drone flying high above Frederiksberg in Copenhagen came dangerously close to a passenger plane on August 21, according to the traffic authority Trafik- og Byggestyrelsen.

The drone broke at least two rules for drone flying and Naviair, which controls air traffic in the area, said that it may have to redirect planes in these types of situations.

“In these kinds of situations, we do everything in our power to ensure that the planes don’t collide with a drone,” Bo Pedersen, the head of communications at Naviair, told Ingeniøren newspaper.

“It’s a challenge because you can’t see them on the radar and you can’t call them up on the radio. Worst case, we have to redirect traffic for a short period until we discover what it is. We’ve seen it happen in Arlanda [Stockholm].”

READ MORE: Traffic authority green lights drones over Danish cities

Under 100 metres
According to the pilot in the plane, the drone came close to the plane at an elevation of 1,500 feet (just short of 500 metres) about eight kilometres from the landing strip. The plane was making its final descent.

Drone are supposed to remain under 100 metres in elevation and are not permitted to be flown in city areas or near larger roads.

They must also remain at least 5 km from public airports and 150 metres from royal estates, police stations, prisons and military installations.