Current technology allows us to do many amazing things. Taking a trip around the world is easily done and many people complete them every day. Navigation to almost anywhere is capable with the device in your pocket. Four blades drones fly high for fun, photography and more… but sometimes people can misuse technology, or not think about what the ramifications of their actions are.
Drones have become abundant as technology to operate them has become easily found in everyone’s pockets. Prices have fallen to fairly affordable levels for these little aircraft, and more can be found flying around every day. Nothing is inherently wrong with a drone, or operating one. Flying aircraft, even model planes, has long been a hobby for many people. Problems start to creep in when people use them in unsafe ways.
Unsafe use of a drone isn’t just something that can impact a single person who may have been struck by a drone. Many videos exist online of a wedding temporarily derailed when a photographer trying to use a drone loses control and hits the new couple. While these situation may be humorous, or cause a minor problem in an event, when these come to the airport, things get a bit more serious.
There does seem to be a growing trend of flying drones around airports. American Airlines pilots crossed paths with one in Miami only a few days ago. By no means an isolated incident, a TV show focusing on Emirates operations, spent an episode showing how shutting down an airport to track down a drone and either disable it can be time consuming and back up the landing schedule for aircraft.
While on the whole, these incidents are done by very few people. It does bear the question, why fly a drone around passenger aircraft? That is an excellent question, and one I’m not totally sure I know how to answer. Possibly enthusiasts watching airplanes want a closer view. Maybe these are just drone pilots who live in the area and didn’t know how close they were to a flight path.
No matter how you look at it, while this is a growing trend, it isn’t currently a regular thing that happens daily at single airports.
The best solution here is likely to educate the public, and ban them around airports. This will not cause everyone to stop, but will likely reduce the problem immensely. Just keep in mind that if you own a drone, even if you love airplanes, don’t fly them around airports. Each plane has hundreds of passengers on board and damaging an aircraft in the middle of a landing or takeoff is a major safety hazard.