At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I felt compelled to write about the alarming rise in drone sightings near airports. This trend is being reported by aircraft pilots and airports alike. Last years 137 sightings we reported, 650 sightings have already been reported this year. The FAA projects 1,000 sightings by the years end. According to a recent FAA press release, private airplane and helicopter pilots, as well as crews aboard airliners, are seeing more and more drones in the air. According to industry groups, there are as many 500,000 drones sold in America, all capable of flying thousands of feet in the air.
“Regulators are concerned that a collision between a drone and a plane, which could easily occur at a speed of 200 miles (320 kilometers) an hour or more, may damage an aircraft or its engines. Encounters with drones can also cause pilots to be distracted from other critical tasks.”
“In recent weeks, drones have been spotted by airline pilots near airports in Newark, New Jersey, New York and Minneapolis, according to the FAA. Last month, there were about a dozen cases of drones flying near aircraft attempting to fight wildfires in California, forcing groundings and delays in battling the blazes, said Lynnette Round, a spokeswoman for Cal Fire, as the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is known.”
This raises major concerns if this trend continues and it’s clear there will be significantly more safety incidents year after year. For more information on rules, regulations and professional airmanship education visit a UAV college like Drone Universities.