Through the EVAIR reporting process, we gather data about and analyse a wide spectrum of safety concerns, incidents and accidents. The topics we see most frequently and focus on as part of our bulletin include runway incursion, level-bust, call-sign similarities, loss of communication and drones.
In the summers of 2011 to 2016, we saw a sizeable increase in occurrence reports citing drones. Drone operations are expected to grow exponentially and we expect that the number of reported safety incidents reports involving drones will soar in the future. At present, not all drone-related occurrences are reported and comparatively few drone operators are registered or identifiable. Rules of the air and rights of way are unknown concepts to operators without an aviation background. As a result, we will not be able to gather information on drone operations until processes for drone registration or identification are in place. If it were possible to obtain information from drone operators, the data could be shared confidentially with relevant ANSPs and commercial airspace users and so help mitigate the safety issues potentially caused by drones.