PEOPLE who own drones should be forced to register them so that police can properly investigate accidents involving the craft, according to an Oxford-based expert.

David Collins, a professional aerial photographer who lives in Headington, said the lack of regulation was causing "negative image" of businesses who used them.

His comments came after a British Airways flight was struck by what is believed to have been a drone as it came in to land at Heathrow Airport.

The pilot of flight BA727 from Geneva in Switzerland reported being hit as the Airbus A320 bound for Terminal Five approached the London hub on Sunday afternoon.

There were 132 passengers and five crew on board. No one was hurt, but there were fears yesterday that police may never find the pilot because the drone was not registered.

Mr Collins said his company, Jolt Media, has registered its drones with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) but that there was currently no requirement to do this.

He added: "Really, you need to be able to register every drone that is flown, because at the moment you do not need to give any information.

"So at the moment, when there is an incident like this there is no way of checking who owns the drone.

"What we need is compulsory registration, because these incidents do not help businesses like ours.

"There is a negative image around them and it is always bad news you hear."

The CAA's 'drone code' says the unmanned craft should not be flown above 400 feet and kept away from planes, helicopters, airports and airfield.

Those with cameras fitted should also be kept 50m from people, vehicles, buildings and other structures.

A spokesman for the CAA said it was not aware of any incidents involving aircraft and drones in Oxfordshire.