The Telegraph published an article today indicating that the incident at London’s Heathrow airport this past Sunday could have been caused by a plastic bag – not, as had been previously reported, by a drone. United Kingdom Transport minister Robert Goodwill stated that,“there was no actual damage to the plane” and “it may have even been a plastic bag.” For reference, the full article is available below.
By Steven Swinford, Deputy Political Editor
Posted April 21, 2016 3:43PM
The drone that reportedly hit a British Airways jet earlier this week may have actually been a plastic bag, a minister has said.
Transport minister Robert Goodwill admitted authorities had not yet confirmed whether what struck the Airbus A320 was a remote-controlled device.
The collision on Sunday night is believed to have been at around 1,700 ft near Richmond Park in south west London, over four times higher than the legal height limit.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is investigating, alongside the Metropolitan Police.
But following his comments today, Mr Goodwill also dismissed calls for tighter rules on drone use to protect against terror threats insisting current rules governing drone use were strong enough.
He said it would be much easier for terrorists to attack airports on the ground with rucksacks or car bombs than orchestrate the attack from a drone aircraft.
Mr Goodwill was also sceptical about calls to force all manufacturers to install GPS coordinates that would prevent drones flying in restricted areas – known as “geo-fencing”.
He warned that any moves to enforce geo-fencing rules would be vulnerable to being hacked by “somebody who could get round that software”.
Mr Goodwill said: “The reported drone strike on Sunday has not been confirmed it was actually a drone. It was the local police force that tweeted that they had a report of a drone striking an aircraft.