Air traffic control has issued a warning over the use of electric generators and other devices in aircraft to avoid collisions with each other.
In a bulletin issued on Friday, the British Aviation Authority said that if the aircraft was using an electric generator or similar device to power its engines or to charge its batteries it was “unlikely that it would safely navigate” or take off.
The bulletin was published just two days after a drone crashed into a plane carrying more than 80 passengers on a flight from Manchester to London.
A spokeswoman for the authority said the warning was “in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines” and was intended to help aircraft operators “avoid potential accidents”.
The BAA’s warning comes as the industry is struggling to cope with the rapid growth of the electric car market.
More than 50 electric vehicles are currently registered in the UK, with more expected to arrive over the next three years.
However, the introduction of more powerful batteries and the advent of electric-only planes has led to the growth of smaller and more fuel-efficient aircraft, which has created a demand for more aircraft with electric motors.
“There is an increasing demand for smaller and lighter aircraft,” the BAA said in a statement.
“The BIA is taking steps to ensure that aircraft operators have a minimum viable product before buying or leasing new aircraft.”
Air traffic control should always be on the lookout for such aircraft as they are likely to be dangerous and will be in an extremely limited space to avoid collision.”
The aviation authority said that aircraft that used a small electric motor to power their engines were not likely to cause problems.
But the aviation authority’s warning is unlikely to help airlines like Virgin Atlantic who have struggled with the introduction and subsequent decline of the battery-powered aircraft.
Virgin Atlantic, which launched its first plane in September last year, is planning to increase the number of electric planes it will use by around 10 per cent this year.
In the UK alone, there are around 2,000 electric aircraft on the market and there are over 100 electric aircraft planned to be built in the coming years.