Airports in various cities — including Newark, New Jersey
; Gatwick, England
; Dublin, Ireland
— have grounded planes in the last three months following drone sightings.
The incident at Gatwick in December proved especially disruptive, impacting the flights of more than 100,000 passengers. In 2017
, a drone hit a commercial airplane approaching Quebec City in Canada. The plane landed safely.
Aviation experts fear catastrophic damage or death could result from a drone hitting an airplane. Such an incident could be accidental or motivated by ill will, such as a terrorist attack.
A 2017 FAA study
found that drones colliding with large aircraft can cause more damage than birds — a threat the industry has long faced. There’s also a business risk. Airlines risk losing millions of dollars from flight delays and cancellations. If air travel becomes more unpleasant, some travelers may switch to other modes like trains or driving.
Source: CNN Business