AN easyJet plane came within 75ft of being struck by a drone as it came in to land at Edinburgh Airport.

The Airbus A319, which can carry up to 160 travellers, had reached 3,700ft on descent when the crew saw the remote controlled device flying alongside it on November 25 last year.

Investigators from the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) said it was a Category A near-miss and it was only “by providence” there was no collision.

The incident was one of four in Scotland between aircraft and drones in 2016, with 70 reported across the UK.

The report said the easyJet crew at 12.09pm saw the drone “quite late” as it was initially obscured from view.

It added the device then “passed down the left side of the aircraft at the same level. The pilot noted there was no time to take avoiding action. The incident was reported to the controller and to police on landing.”

Investigators said that given the altitude the drone was being used beyond the operator’s line of sight and concluded it had “been flown into confliction with the A319”.

It was not picked up by radar, the report added, and said the pilot’s own estimate was it was about 75ft away.

Taking this into account, the board added “that the pilot’s estimate of separation, allied to his overall account of the incident, portrayed a situation where collision had only been avoided by providence”.

It concluded: “The A319 pilot had not been able to take avoiding action and so the Board therefore determined the risk to be Category A.”

Neither the airline or how many passengers were on board was revealed by the investigation report. It said t Drones must not fly above 400ft or within 150ft of people or property, with a code of conduct clearly on the website of the Civil Aviation Authority.

Those caught flying drones dangerously face an unlimited fine and up to five years in jail.

In another incident three days earlier, an Airbus A320’s first officer spotted a drone pass within 400ft of the aircraft, which was flying at 6,000ft over Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.

The UKAB reported that the drone very quickly passed behind the plane so no change to the flight-path was made.

Police met the plane after it touched down at its destination and the pilot said there had been only a “medium” risk of a collision.

In October, a drone passed down the side of the East Midlands Airport-bound Boeing 737 at the same height and about 100ft from the wing over Derby.

In April last year, a British Airways jet with 135 people on board flying from Geneva to London was struck by a drone.

Meanwhile, a Sikorsky S92 helicopter returning from an oil rig was just 20 seconds away from colliding with a military jet near Aberdeen, as it flew at 2,000ft, in November last year.

The Hawk jet was heading directly towards the helicopter at the same altitude and the Sikorsky had to take avoiding action to prevent a collision, UKAB said.