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Drones Continue to be a Menace for the Air Ambulance Industry


The air ambulance industry, in the recent past, has encountered several situations where drones have caused near-crash situations. On the other hand, drones have been increasingly viewed as an adjunct to the services that the air ambulance industry provides. Finding the middle ground has been a tough effort. With the drones getting cheaper by the day, skies are being filled with these little flying contraptions with patchy regulations that are failing to control them. Hobbyists are certainly to blame when they fly their drones with little concern for the air ambulance industry. Take for instance, the recent encounter of an air ambulance with a civilian drone in the United Kingdom.

The Recent Case of Near-Collision

An A-category near-miss was experienced by pilots of a hospital-based medical flight in the United Kingdom recently. The culprit was a drone controlled by a civilian. The drone had come eerily close to the medical flight, just a few feet away from it. At the time, the air ambulance was coordinating with another medical flight so that both can cross each other smoothly without any untoward incident. Thankfully, the drone was spotted on time and a disaster was averted.

The Air Ambulance Industry is Witnessing an Alarming Trend

There have been several sanctions surrounding drones but, on the ground, little remains changed. In the past 5 years, nearly 400 such close encounters have been reported. While there is no doubt that drones are doing a lot of good in several spheres such as defence, emergency rescue and medicine, unregulated flying and their cheap availability have brought about several near-crash situations for the air ambulance industry. Across the world, flying drones with disregard for aerial vehicles attracts huge fines and even imprisonment. What is lacking, however, is the awareness about such consequences. It is time that governments across the world take cognisance of the situation and make the skies safer for the air ambulance industry again.

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