In yet another airport incident involving a drone nearly colliding with an aircraft, an unmanned drone came right into colliding with a jet about to land at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. This sheds more light into the severity of implementing rules and regulations drone owners must abide to, especially when flying their drones in public spaces. The incident, captured on video and was spread all over social media, saw the drone hovering near the jet’s entry path and traversing around it. The extremely close proximity between the drone and the aircraft has sparked talk amongst viewers, with regards to safety around the airport and what may have happened if the drone flew too close.
The owner and controller of the said drone was still a mystery, but reports indicate that the drone may have taken off at a parking lot in Whitney Ranch near 95 and Russell. The drone was estimated to have been flying at least 1,500 feet in the air, whereas the regulations surrounding drones only limit the height of flight at 400 feet.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has started their investigation on the incident. If found guilty, the owners of these drones may face fines up to $1,437 per violation due to violating the flight safety rules set by the board. Other fines may include up to $32,666 for businesses, as well as a maximum of $250,000 fines for criminal penalties, along with up to three years in prison.
Chad Budreau, the director of government affairs for the Academy of Model Aeronautics, had this to say regarding the matter: “All drone and model aircraft pilots must stay well clear of manned aircraft. We condemn the type of operation depicted in the video.”
He further stated: “Anyone who violates aviation regulations or endangers public safety must be held accountable for their actions. We urge the FAA to take strong enforcement action against this drone pilot, and against any future violators.”
The rise of commercial and personal use of drones has increased growing fears among the public about irresponsible owners who may cause damage with it. The emergence of cheap and affordable drones made it possible for everyday people to handle these flying machines. But just like any other technological device, these drones carry with them a responsibility, along with rules and regulations that must be followed. Drone handling must be taken more seriously, especially when they are being controlled at a public area.