Drone Sightings Near Airports Up 45 Percent Through 3Q 2016

WASHINGTON DC – Between February and September of 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration said commercial pilots, air traffic control, law enforcement and the private citizens reported possibly spotting 1,274 drones flying near air traffic control facilities – a 45 percent increase from all sittings reported in 2015.

Still, the FAA says it has yet to count a single collision between a manned airplane and a drone, despite the fact that approximately 670,000 drones were registered since the FAA opened its registration system at the end of 2015, according to Michael Huerta, the head of the FAA, who shared the figure at the agency’s press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

The FAA forecasts that 4.8 million drones will be sold in the U.S. in 2017.

 Considering hundreds of thousands more drones were in the skies this year than ever before in the U.S., the fact that only 400 more possible drone sightings were reported means that most people seem to at least be flying safe enough to avoid airplanes. Flying near airplanes is, after all, illegal.

“Unauthorized operators may be subject to stiff fines and criminal charges, including possible jail time,” said the FAA in a statement.

To read the FAA report, click on https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=87565