The dangers posed by people using drones near airports were stressed yet again when the Portimão-Cascais AeroVip shuttle narrowly dodged a mid-air collision.
The close call shook pilot Jorge Cernadas last Friday (June 16) evening when he was landing at Cascais aerodrome, with 14 passengers.
“I saw what seemed to be a bird. But as we got closer, I noticed that it was a large drone with four propellers,” he told Lusa news agency.
Sharp reflexes clicked into play, though the drone passed just five metres away from the plane’s left wing.
This was a “very serious” incident, said Cernadas.
As it was, the Dornier 228 landed safely and the incident was reported to the aerodrome’s control tower.
According to Lusa, this was the eighth close call involving planes and drones in Portugal this year.
Last Wednesday (June 14), an Airbus 319 flying from Milan, Italy to Lisbon came close to hitting a drone around 700 metres over the 25 de Abril bridge.
Two weeks earlier, pilots of a Boeing 737-800 were also forced to carry out “several manoeuvres” to dodge a drone just minutes away from landing in Porto.
Portugal’s association for unmanned aircrafts (APANT) has since launched a warning, citing Civil Aviation regulations which limit the use of drones at altitudes higher than 120 metres, and around air strips.