Americas Safety

Department of Homeland Security issues terror alert after three drones are spotted in three days above JFK



Three drones were spotted flying too close to airplanes landing at New York City’s John F Kennedy Airport over the weekend, prompting warnings was the FAA. 

It’s currently illegal to fly a drone withing five miles of an airport or higher than 400 feet, but one of the pilots landing at JFK on Friday said he say a drone as high as 1,400 feet off the ground. 

The drone spotting  have prompted worries from federal aviation officials, that the unmanned aircraft would be used to pose a threat to commercial planes. 

In response to the sightings, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin, warning that drones would be used by terrorists. 

‘The rising trend in UAS incidents within the National Airspace System will continue, as UAS gain wider appeal with recreational users and commercial applications. 

‘While many of these encounters are not malicious in nature, they underscore potential security vulnerabilities… that could be used by adversaries to leverage UAS as part of an attack,’ the statement reads. 

Over the weekend, New York Senator Chuck Schumer called for tougher defenses against drones – such as geofences that wouldn’t stop drones from approaching restricted areas.  

‘The FAA has to act and toughen up the rules before a tragedy occurs because if a drone were sucked into a jet engine of a plane filled with passengers untold tragedy could result and we do not, do not, do not want that to happen,’ Schumer said. 

The first spotting this weekend was reported by a JetBlue flight arriving from Haiti just before 2:30pm on Friday. 

Two and a half hours later, a Delta pilot landing at JFK from Orlando spotted another drone about 1,400 feet off the ground.   

‘Yeah, about a mile back there was a drone flying just under the southwest side of the airport here. It’s about a hundred feet below us,’ the pilot said over the radio. 

The third report came on Sunday, from a Shuttle America flight arriving from Richmon, Virginia around 6pm.  

None of the three pilots had to take evasive action to avoid the drones. 

According to the federal aviation agency, there are about two drone sightings across the country each day. 

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