FLIGHTS DISRUPTED AFTER DRONE REPORTS

AOPA file photo.

on Jan. 22, prompting a ground stop at nearby Newark Liberty International Airport. The disruption, weeks after reported drone sightings led to chaos at a British airport, highlighted the lack of established procedures to respond to a real or perceived drone threat to air safety.

Two pilots reported seeing a drone at 3,500 feet near Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on Jan. 22, prompting a ground stop at nearby Newark Liberty International Airport. The disruption, weeks after reported drone sightings led to chaos at a British airport, highlighted the lack of established procedures to respond to a real or perceived drone threat to air safety.

AOPA Senior Director of Airspace, Air Traffic, and Aviation Security Rune Duke said there are reasons to question whether the pilots who reported the drone actually saw a drone, or some other object.

Duke said the absence of key FAA personnel due to the shutdown hampered efforts to study what happened at Gatwick and establish procedures to respond to drones flying dangerously close to other airports. (British authorities have yet to solve the mystery surrounding the reported drone sightings, or confirm that drones were actually present).

There is currently no technology in place to reliably track and identify small unmanned aircraft, though DJI, the Chinese drone maker that sells about 75 percent of the small, consumer-friendly drones flown today, has a system called AeroScope that can track and identify DJI-made drones. DJI issued a statement Jan. 11 responding to the reported drone sightings around Gatwick and other airports, urging caution and noting that in many cases drone sighting reports ultimately were found to be cases of mistaken identification.

DJI spokesman Adam Lisberg, in an email conversation Jan. 23, confirmed that AeroScope remains capable of detecting DJI-made drones exclusively. Schulman, in a social media post reported by Commercial Drone Professional, also cast doubt on the Teterboro sightings: Two drones at once. At 3500 feet altitude.

Collected and summarized from the source below by Minh Pham  https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2019/january/23/flights-disrupted-after-drone-reports

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