Human Rights

Drone Over New York Spotted by Airplane Pilot

A pilot claim he saw an unmanned aerial vehicle just before landing at JFK Airport in New York.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The FBI and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating a pilot’s claim he saw an unmanned aerial vehicle just before landing at JFK Airport in New York.

“We saw a drone, a drone aircraft,” the Alitalia pilot says in a radio call recorded by the website LiveATC.net.

A statement from FAA says, “The sighting was approximately four to five miles west of the airport at an altitude of approximately 1,500 feet.” The reported drone, estimated at one meter's length, did not interfere with the pilot’s flight path, and the plane landed safely at JFK.

The pilot’s drone report highlights fears that the increasing availability of unmanned aerial devices to the public could pose dangers for manned air traffic. Under current FAA regulations, recreational drone users cannot fly above 400 feet in the air or within a quarter mile from any airport.

As CNN’s Aaron Cooper notes, current regulations restrict business from flying unmanned aerial vehicles, but government departments, including police forces, can apply for drone permits.

Legislation passed last year requires the FAA to prepare a plan for regulating commercial drone use by 2015.

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