Two Flights Have Run-Ins With Drones At New York JFK

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Planes twice come within several hundred metres of collision with UAVs, according to FAA report

The safety of operating unmanned drones near commercial airports has been called into question again following reports of two separate incidents of near-collisions in the United States.

According to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), two flights from New York’s JFK airport narrowly avoided colliding with drones recently, with the vehicles coming dangerously close to commercial planes.

This includes a JetBlue pilot reporting a drone within 800 to 900 feet away from his craft’s nose on its approach into JFK.

Near-miss

DroneThe second incident concerned a Delta flight with 154 people on board, which was preparing to land when the pilot reported seeing a drone below its right wing, CNN reported.

It’s not known if the two incidents are related, or concerned the same drone, but the FAA is now investigating both incidents.

Currently, unmanned aircraft systems in the US are not permitted to either fly within five miles of an airport without notifying the airport operator and control tower nor are they supposed to go above 400 feet.

However the FAA says that it gets up to two reports every day from pilots saying they have spotted unmanned aerial vehicles, as amateur pilots increasingly look to try out their drones away from built-up areas.

The pilots of these troublesome drones were thought to have been located in a nearby park, Floyd Bennett Field, which is located near to the airport and is in the flight path for some arriving planes.

Recent research by the University of Birmingham highlighted the privacy, safety and indeed security risks of drones over the next 20 years, especially as the aircraft could be possibly used by terror groups to attack public events.

Currently, drones can only be used in the UK within sight of the operator and with permission of the Civil Aviation Authority.

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