Civilian drones will be crashed into military planes as part of an experiment for the UK Government to be able to assess the real dangers unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) pose to passenger planes.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), will assist with technical support for the tests, which will then go onto examine the damage that a drone can cause when it collides with an aircraft.
The specifics of the tests and their locations have yet to be confirmed and so far, there has been no comment from the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) or the Ministry of Transport, who are both involved with the experiment.
"The testing of potential collision impacts between a drone and a fixed-wing aircraft is currently being carried out on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defense," a CAA spokesperson said in a recent interview.Department for Transport, will be carried out later in 2016 by arms firm, QinetiQ.
A spokesperson for the project said that the crashes will not be carried out in mid-air and nor will they involve commercial jets; a military aircraft will be used instead
There have been a number of near misses between drones and aircrafts in Europe, however according to some sources, the danger posed isn't as great as initially thought to be.
In Europe, to date, there have been three collisions and the damage has been limited to scrapes on paintwork, according to an October 2016 "Drone Collision Task Force" report by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EAA).
The report specifically looks at drones and the impact they would have on an aircraft if there was a collision.The EAA came to the conclusion that there was some risk and that further studies needed to be carried out before a final assessment is made.
With the launch of drone delivery systems from Amazon and Google, it seems being aware of the full potential and impact of a drone on an aircraft is critical.