The FAA continues efforts to facilitate uneventful coexistence between manned and unmanned aircraft
The proliferation of unmanned aircraft (UAS) in the United States continues to remain an area of focus for the FAA. As they improve in technology and increase in size, there is a concern that unmanned aircraft may provide more risk to manned aircraft as drones are flying higher, farther and faster than ever before.
Rising Reports of Drone Encounters
Earlier this month, the FAA released its Reported UAS Sightings for first quarter 2017. A total of 403 reports of encounters with drones were made to air traffic facilities from January to March 2017, as compared to 358 similar reports in the same period last year.
While the reports of drone encounters were on the rise, the FAA has said that they have not verified any accounts of collisions between aircraft and drones. Instead, the FAA determined that all of the reported incidents were bird collisions, impact with stationary objects, and structural issues.
What’s being done
While verified collisions between aircraft and drones are low, the FAA remains committed to educating drone operators. They have released the B4UFLY Mobile App, a smartphone app that helps “unmanned aircraft operators determine whether there are any restrictions or requirements in effect at the location where they want to fly.” The app was released as part of the FAA’s “Know Before You Fly” campaign, developed to create awareness of the rules associated with operating unmanned aircraft. Additionally, they are pursuing many open enforcement cases against unauthorized UAS flight operators across the United States.
What you can do