Drones in Restricted Airspaces



Drones are flying devices without pilots. There are many different types of drones, such as the very tiny type, which is extremely durable, the small type for hobby pilots, and the big type for filming and so on. There are also the huge military drones, which become more and more common in use because they do not put a pilot’s life in danger. Not all airplanes are being flown without a pilot like huge commercial airplanes. However, that puts these pilots at risk with every takeoff and landing. The pilots that fly planes like the A380 or the Boeing 747-8 need massive control and concentration. Little hobby drones put these pilots and the passengers at risk.

In 2009, a great pilot landed an A320 in the Hudson river because his turbines failed. They failed because birds were pulled in the engines. Now, when a company releases a new airplane they check to make sure that birds can’t stop the turbine. Like Boeing, they are bringing out the 777x soon and checking for that as well. They optimized the material and the turbine structure to ensure that that turbine will not fail. All planes are prepared for birds, but not drones. If a drone flies into the airspace of an airport, the drones can get in the turbines and stop them from functioning during a takeoff or a landing. These malfunctions can have very dangerous consequences, just like the case of 1936 KLM Croydon accident, where there was an error on board while taking off, and with the exception of 2 survivors, the crew, pilot, and passengers were all killed. During takeoff, a plane flies at a steep angle upwards and needs all the energy to not stall or crash. If a plane stalls, it means that it flies too steep for its speed.

The tower on an airport regulates takeoffs and landings. They transmit information on whether a plane is allowed to take off or land. If a pilot doesn’t get these transmissions for landing, the pilot will keep flying until the fuel runs out, which is why we have to turn on the flight mode on our phones during flights, so that these transmissions won’t be disrupted. Drones, however, also transmit signals that can disrupt transmissions from the tower, and lead to misunderstandings and accidents.

Furthermore, drones can cause damage outside airports. If a drone crashes above a stadium or above anyone, that person is in danger. For example, during a ski race, a drone almost hit the Austrian champion Marcel Hirscher. If that were to happen above a concert or a stadium, which would be packed with people, many people could be hurt or killed. Also, due to the fact that anyone can simply fly heavy and big drones, there is a huge risk of amateur pilots with badly controlled drones above people. That is also why most drones aren’t allowed to fly over people.

Another airspace where drones are not allowed to go unauthorized is a certain altitude which is about 100m in Germany. Although many planes fly over that height drones are not allowed to fly that high because they can fall uncontrollably from that height. Also if it falls from there, it will be even more dangerous when it crashes.

You aren’t allowed to fly drones over prisons either. A drone can carry and then drop or eject materials like packets of things that can be used for prison breakouts. Also, you can’t fly them over military bases either. It would be a danger if someone could use a drone to spy or drop something on another country’s military base.

Another restricted zone can be someone’s house. Although that one isn’t as important as the others, you could forbid drones to fly over your house since it is a private area. However, at a certain altitude, planes can fly over your house.

If drones fly in airspaces where they shouldn’t be, it can be very dangerous. That is why there are prohibited zones for flying drones in airports, and other airspaces, including stadiums, concerts, wildfires, accident scenes, private airports, power plants, highways and other places over a huge body of people. If a drone falls and damages one of these, the damage would be great. The laws regarding this matter aren’t there without a reason, and if one person doesn’t follow them, many lives are endangered as a consequence.

Hirscher drone: