“We are concerned with the increasing number of drone sighting reports we’re getting from pilots nationwide,” said Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration. “We have a comprehensive effort to educate drone operators about the importance of flying safely.”
The crew of a departing WestJet Boeing 737 spotted the drone 1,500 above the ground midday Monday, according to Gregor.
The jetliner was departing Los Angeles International Airport on runway 24L when the remote-controlled, unstaffed aircraft was sighted, Gregor said.
“The crew did not provide a description or proximity and did not take evasive action,” he said.
It was not clear if the two-engine jet was in any danger. There was no immediate word if the drone operator could face legal action if located.
“When air traffic controllers get a drone sighting report from a pilot, they notify the appropriate law enforcement agency,” Gregor said. “The agency may start looking for the drone operator if they have the time and resources.”
However, he said, he had “no new information” about the case.
“One of our key initiatives is the drone registration requirement, which includes an education component,” Gregor said. “To date, more than 550,000 people have registered their drones.”
The FAA spokesperson cited the FAA’s work in a “number of education partnerships with drone industry representatives and other stakeholders.”
He said that among safety efforts is the “B4UFLY” initiative and app. “The app, which is a free download, tells people whether it’s safe to fly in their current or planned locations.”
He said more information is available at www.faa.gov/uas.
— City News Service
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