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FAA Testing New Drone-Sensing Technology to Avoid Airport Collisions

FAA Testing New Drone-Sensing Technology to Avoid Airport Collisions
July 3, 2017 | Source: Government Technology, govtech.com, 2 May 2017, Conor Shine

The tests at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport are the sixth and final in a series of tests around the country evaluating different technologies for drone detection.

On Aug. 31, the pilot of an American Airlines Boeing 777 arriving from Hong Kong spotted a white, diamond-shaped drone as the aircraft made its final descent into DFW International Airport.

The drone was 100 feet below and 100 feet to the right of the plane, according to a Federal Aviation Administration report, and didn’t require any evasive action. The plane landed safely, but airport police were notified about the drone’s unauthorized intrusion into the airspace, one of 44 reported at North Texas airports through the first nine months of 2016.

None of the cases resulted in planes being struck and just one, a small Beechcraft plane, had to alter its flight course to avoid a collision at an elevation of 10,500 feet near DFW Airport.

But airport officials and U.S. aviation regulators are increasingly worried about potentially catastrophic encounters as drones become more widely used by businesses and hobbyists.