News: A drone almost collided with a Boeing 737 taking off from Stansted Airport.
Airline pilots have called for urgent action on drones after four separate near miss incidents at UK airports in just one month.
The UK Airprox Board (UKAB) unveiled details of a series of incidents involving drones, of which four were considered to be the most serious cases belonging to category A, where a severe risk of collision happens.
In one incident, a drone almost collided with a Boeing 737 taking off from Stansted Airport. The category A incidents also took place at Heathrow, London City and Manchester airports.
British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) flight safety specialist Steve Landells said action must be taken to avoid a catastrophic crash of an aircraft.
"Pilots want to ensure technology to prevent drones from flying in areas of dense air traffic are put in place and also want drone designers to liaise with Air Traffic controllers to look at ways they can adapt drones to ensure they can be seen easily on radars."
Balpa says it is concerned that the number of incidents may increase in the next few months, as people start to use drones which they could have been given as Christmas presents.
It is calling for stricter rules and a registration system so drone operators can be traced easily and prosecuted for any irresponsible flying.
The association said pilots also want technology fitted to drones which will stop the devices from being able to fly in areas where they may meet commercial traffic.
Landells also stressed how important education and training is for drone users. "Anyone flying a drone must do so in a safe and sensible way. If you don’t follow the rules or show consideration to others when flying you should be aware of the severe penalties you could face," Landells added.
Last year, the Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK Ministry of Defence should allocate more investment to drones, and spy planes.
A survey by eDigitalResearch has revealed that the majority of online shoppers in the UK are concerned about the introduction of drone deliveries, which they believe will result in an increased risk of parcels being left unattended and open to damage.
The survey of 2,040 online shoppers found that 49% think drone deliveries will never happen, while 35% were unsure.
In the US, a 25-member task force formed by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recommended registering drones weighing more than half a pound.