Federal officials have said that numerous drones were spotted in restricted airspace around JFK airport this week, each being a separate incident. On Sunday evening, a Delta pilot and a Virgin Atlantic crew reported a drone between 2,000 and 3,000 feet in the air, and about 10 miles from the runways. The FBI said that drone came within five to ten feet of a Delta airliner’s wing. And on Wednesday, a JetBlue pilot reported a drone about two miles from the airport, flying between 300 and 400 feet in the air at 1:50 p.m.
An FAA spokesman has responded, saying, “The reports did not indicate any of the pilots took evasive action, all three flights landed safely.”
Airline pilot Patrick Smith attributed the drones to ignorance of drone operators. He New York Post, “Rules exist, but many drone operators either don’t know about them or ignore them.”
Rules for drone operators and hobbyists are currently in flux, however. After a recent ruling, the FAA could consider practically any use of a drone as “reckless flight.” The aviation agency claims it will be releasing clear regulations for popular aircraft by the end of the year.