EASA reports significant decrease in (near) drone collisions

The European aviation authority, EASA, recently published the annual Safety Review. In that report, all incidents and incidents related to aviation in are listed. The report shows that the number of (near) drone collisions has fallen sharply since 2018. In 2021, only one serious incident was recorded.

Decrease in (near) drone collisions

According to , there are growing concerns about the danger of collisions between drones and manned aircraft, because drones are becoming more and more accessible. For this reason, new European drone regulations were introduced in 2019, which came into effect at the end of 2020 after some delay.

However, the number of reports of (near) drone collisions has fallen sharply since 2018 – long before the entry into force of the EU drone regulations.

In 2018, twelve ‘airborne collisions' and ‘near collisions' were reported. In 2019 and 2020, there were only two per year. In 2021, only one (near) collision with a drone was reported.

The chart below shows the number of drone-related incident reports received by EASA in recent years.

Easa Reports A Significant Decrease In (Near) Drone Collisions

Safety measures and information decrease drone collisions

The decrease in drone incidents may be explained by drone manufacturers such as DJI, which keeps incorporating new safety measures into their drones, such as geofencing and AirSense ().

These measures prevent unwitting drone pilots from taking off near airports or heliports. Various European member states, including the , have also been making more effort to provide information about flying drones safely.

It should also be noted that commercial air traffic in Europe was largely flat from the end of 2019 as a result of the pandemic, and there was therefore less chance of collisions with drones. But that does not explain why there were hardly any incidents in all of 2019.


EASA emphasizes that the reports come almost exclusively from commercial aviation and air traffic control organizations. According to EASA, better insight into the real number of potentially dangerous situations with drones can only be obtained once more detailed information about illegal drone flights becomes available.

(Source: EASA Annual Safety Review 2022)

This article first appeared on Dronewatch and is written by Wiebe de Jager who is also a DroneXL contributor.

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Wiebe de Jager
Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager is the founder of Dronewatch and author of several bestselling books about drone photography. Wiebe is a certified drone pilot and has a full ROC license.

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