A British Airways passenger aircraft has been hit by what most likely was a drone as it prepared to land at Britain's Heathrow Airport.

Police said the pilot of the flight from Geneva had reported that he believed a drone had struck the aircraft before it landed safely at Terminal 5 early on Sunday afternoon.

Police have issued warnings in the past about the danger of the public use of remotely controlled drones near airports and other sensitive sites.

British Airways said in a statement that the aircraft, which had 132 passengers and five crew on board, was "fully examined by our engineers and it was cleared to operate its next flight".