Poll: What Is Your Biggest Concern About Flying In 2020?
Concern over the threat of rogue drones disrupting airport operations seems almost quaint now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has stunted air traffic activity and presented more pressing and consequential challenges to the airline industry than the still-inconclusive threat that a wayward drone poses to an aircraft with people on board. But trepidation over the potential of crashes and airport disruptions has not disappeared, nor have drones gone away.
The FAA receives more than 100 reports of drone sightings by pilots, citizens and police each month; it lists more than 400 sightings in its latest report for the April-June period. The NTSB counts a total of six confirmed or probable midair collisions of drones with manned aircraft in the U.S. since September 2017—they involved four helicopters, one Cessna 170 and a Lindstrand 105A hot-air balloon carrying sightseers. There have been no major crashes or fatalities.
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