A DRONE was involved in a near-miss with a passenger plane that was about to land at Southampton Airport.

At one point the device is said to have flown about 100ft above a Flybe plane that was preparing to touch down.

Police were alerted and searched the area but there was no trace of the drone or its operator.

No further details have been released, including the position of the aircraft when the device was spotted and the height at which the plane was flying when the drama happened on Monday.

An airport spokesman said: “We can confirm that a drone incident was reported on February 13 by an aircraft inbound to the airport.

“The relevant authorities were notified and police undertook an extensive search of the area in question but the drone and pilot were not located. There was no direct risk to the aircraft or passengers.”

Flybe refused to comment, saying the matter was in the hands of the police.  However, officers confirmed that their involvement was at an end.

The incident comes just two months after it was revealed that 59 near-misses involving drones were reported to the UK Airprox Board last year.

Pilots have called for the devices to be fitted with transmitters that would allow police to track their owner after an incident.

Steve Landells, from the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), said: “Flying a drone in an irresponsible manner puts lives in danger and any offending drone should transmit enough data to allow the police to locate the operator. If they have endangered an aircraft we would to like to see the culprit prosecuted.”

In July 2015 a drone came within two wing lengths of a BE200 aircraft coming in to land at Southampton.

Investigators found that “chance had played a major part” in a collision being avoided.

The incident sparked a warning from police.

PC Andy Sparshott, Hampshire and Thames Valley Police Drone Advisor, said: “The skill level of some users is low. They have purchased their drone on the Internet without guidance from suppliers or enthusiast groups, they have limited flying experience and are unaware of the safety guidelines or regulations.

“This lack of knowledge, and the number of drones being purchased, has resulted in increased numbers of incidents being reported to police.”

Last night the Hampshire-based National Air Traffic Services (NATS) said: “Flying any kind of drone near an airport or in controlled airspace without the proper permission is dangerous and unacceptable. People using drones should apply common sense and remember the same legal obligations apply to them as any other pilot.”