A JetBlue pilot reported see a drone as he landed an Airbus A320 on Monday at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, according to the FAA.
“We just had a drone at our location cross over the top of us at 5,000 feet,” the unidentified JetBlue Pilot reported to the control tower. “The pilot did not take evasive action. The FAA will investigate,” the FAA stated in a media report.
Local10.com reported that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office also received a report of a UAV near the airport but neither the federal nor local officials ever located the drone. The Sheriff’s Office told Local10 that they called the FBI “for tracking purposes as no flying restrictions were apparently broken.”
The sighting is just one example of recent reports by pilots of drone sighting near airports. In July an Airbus A320’s wing passed 20 feet below a drone hovering at Heathrow, said the British Civil Aviation Authority. In November, the FAA opened an investigation after three commercial pilots reported drones flying near their planes as they approached John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. In July 2014, an unidentified drone flew close to a flightpath at Vancouver’s international airport.
According to the Washington Post: “Pilots have reported a surge in close calls with drones: nearly 700 incidents so far this year [as of August], according to FAA statistics, about triple the number recorded for all of 2014.”
As reported in DRONELIFE: “The Civil Aviation Authority said it had recorded seven incidents between May 2014 and March 2015 at airports around the UK in which drones almost collided with planes. The CAA has launched a ‘dronecode’ to alert users to the danger of collisions and accidents. Last week a drone flew within 100 meters of a Lufthansa flight approaching Warsaw airport.”
In response, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer accused the FAA of moving too slowly to implement rules requiring drone manufacturers to install technology that would prevent the aircraft from entering “no-fly zones” like airports. Schumer plans to “propose an amendment to legislation funding the FAA this fall that would require manufacturers to implement geo-fencing or similar technology to prevent the unmanned aircraft from flying near airports and other sensitive security zones like the White House.”
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.