AN AERIAL film-maker who uses drones to video local landmarks believes education is the key to avoiding further incidents like the near-miss at Southend Airport.

Dave Black, 50, from Shoebury, has been using a 1.2kg quadcopter to film aerial videos for more than a year.

Its emerged this week that a quadcopter drone nearly hit an Aer Lingus flight carrying 74 passengers when it came in to land at Southend Airport onMay 30, even though drones may not be flown within 50 metres of any aircraft and that “a person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property”.

Mr Black said it was commonplace for people to buy drones, which can retail for as little as £225, and use them without any knowledge they could be breaking the law.

He said: “People don’t think to look into the rules around flying drones and they aren’t aware of the restrictions.

“When I bought mine, I didn’t know either, but once I realised the rules were tied up with the Air Navigation Order, which is criminal law, I went out of my way to abide by them.

“There’s going to be a push by the Civil Aviation Authority, but we already have enough regulations, we just need more enforcement and education.”

He added many people were unknowingly incriminating themselves by posting videos on YouTube which clearly break Air Navigation Order rules, such as not flying within 150 metres of a built-up area or open-air gathering of more than 1,000 people.

Last week a 41-year-old man from Nottingham was arrested on suspicion of flying a drone over a Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur football match at City’s stadium and bailed for two months.

As recently as April, a man became the first person in the country to be successfully prosecuted for illegally flying a drone, in this case in restricted airspace over a nuclear submarine facility.

He was fined £800.