January 23, 2019 – In Breaking News – The New York Times
One of the busiest airports in the country was closed to arriving flights on Tuesday evening by reports of a drone flying nearby, showing how a single electronic toy could wreak havoc on an air-travel system already lagging in adopting technology to protect the skies.
Newark Liberty International Airport, one of three main airports that serve New York City, halted all landings and diverted planes for more than an hour after two pilots on different planes spotted a drone nearby as they came in for landings.
(Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the country’s busiest, is operating normally after a drone forced it to shut down Tuesday. The drone was seen flying at about 3,500 feet, about nine times the legal limit, less than 20 minutes from the airport. A pilot reported it came within feet of the plane he was about to land. Courtesy of CBS This Morning and YouTube. Posted on Jan 23, 2019.)
Law enforcement agencies were still investigating the sightings, but so far no drone has been located, a federal aviation official said on Wednesday.
Normal #EWR operations have resumed after arrivals were briefly held by the FAA due to reports of drone activity north of the airport earlier this evening. We’re coordinating with the FAA & fully supporting all federal law enforcement authorities as they investigate this incident
— Newark Liberty Airport (@EWRairport) January 23, 2019
The disruption was all the more alarming because it came just one month after reported drone sightings caused the shutdown of Gatwick Airport in London, one of the busiest in Europe.
(Thousands of passengers have seen their flights from Gatwick Airport cancelled after two drones were spotted flying over the airfield within a 12-hour period. Courtesy of BBC News and YouTube. Posted on Dec 20, 2018.)
The upheaval at Newark illustrated how vulnerable the air-travel system is to the proliferation of inexpensive drones that can weigh as much as 50 pounds and are capable of flying high and fast enough to get in the path of commercial jets, experts on aviation safety and drone technology said.
It also raised questions about whether airports are prepared enough to identify drones and prevent them from paralyzing travel and leaving passengers stranded.
“This is a really disturbing trend,” said John Halinski, former deputy administrator of the federal Transportation Security Administration.
“It is a real problem because drones are multiplying every day.”
“They really pose a threat in a number of ways to civil aviation…
Continue reading… Drone Scare Near New York City Shows Hazard Posed to Air Travel
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