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British Airways jet carrying 132 passengers hit by drone, lands safely at Heathrow Airport

India TV News Desk 18 Apr 2016, 7:17:24 AM IST
India TV News Desk

London: A British Airways flight landed safely after a suspected drone hit the plane as it headed towards London’s Heathrow Airport.

In a statement, the airline said that the plane landed safely and has been cleared for its next flight. At the time of the incident, the Airbus A320 was carrying 132 passengers and five crew members.

According to police, the pilot reported that he thought an object, apparently a drone, had struck the front of the aircraft. The flight, which was heading from Geneva to Heathrow, then landed safely at the airport.

“The plane was fully examined by our engineers and it was cleared to operate its next flight," the British Airways said in a statement.

"Safety and security are always our first priority and we will give the police every assistance with their investigation," the airline added.

Aviation authorities have expressed concern about the risk posed by the increasing number of drones.

The Civil Aviation Authority, which is responsible for British aviation safety, suspected that the object could be a drone.

“Safety is our first priority. Anyone operating a drone must do so responsibly and observe all relevant rules and regulations. The rules for flying drones are designed to keep all airspace users safe. It is totally unacceptable to fly drones close to airports and anyone flouting the rules can face severe penalties including imprisonment,” spokesperson, Civil Aviation Authority, said.

No arrests have been made and aviation police based at Heathrow are investigating.