Drones have come a long way from being military-grade equipment to commercially accessible toys sold across mainstream stores.
But as well as being disruptive to industries – with Amazon trialing its own drone delivery service – drones have become increasingly disruptive to commercial aircraft, buildings, and people.
Several flights were delayed at a U.K. airport on Sunday after a drone was seen flying close to the runway, raising questions about how disruptive they are, and whether enough has been done to regulate them. The drone caused the closure of Gatwick Airport in southeast England, and meant that four easyJet flights and one British Airways flight had to be diverted.
But the latest near-collision is just one of many drone-related incidents to have caused a stir. Drone-related near-misses with commercial aircraft in the U.S. rose by 46 percent from 2015 to 2016. And a freedom of information (FOI) request released earlier this year revealed that drone-related complaints in the U.K. soared twelvefold in the space of two years.