Over the past two months, drone sightings have caused closures at international airports, both in the U.S. and abroad. In December 2018, drone activity at London’s Gatwick Airport resulted in the airport being closed for 33 hours with multiple flight cancellations, costing impacted airlines an estimated $64.5 million. Weeks later, in early January 2019, a runway was shut down for an hour at Heathrow Airport in London due to a drone sighting.

Closer to home, on January 22, 2019, air traffic was halted at Newark Airport in New Jersey after United and Southwest flight crews reported a drone flying at 3, 500 feet. The drone was first sighted some 15 miles from Newark by personnel at Tetoboro Regional Airport.

Regulation of drones falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Since 2015, the FAA requires that most drones register with the agency and to obtain permission from either the FAA or an airport operator to fly near airports.

Access the FAA’s ”Unmanned Aircraft Systems” pages here. Access articles with more information about the impact of drones on air traffic and safety here and here. Contact us at Ossian Law P. C. regarding any information technology law matter.

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