Last updated: 11:05 AM ET, Tue August 04 2015

Pilot Reports Third Drone Sighting in Three Days at JFK Airport

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | August 04, 2015

Pilot Reports Third Drone Sighting in Three Days at JFK Airport

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

For the third time in as many days, a pilot has reported a drone sighting on approach to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Citing the Federal Aviation Administration, CBS New York reported the latest sighting occurred around 6 p.m. ET Sunday when the pilot of a Shuttle America flight from Richmond reported seeing the unmanned device on the left side of the plane.

Sunday's close encounter occurred just two days after two other pilots reported drone sightings above JFK. 
CBS New York reported both the FAA and Port Authority police are investigating the recent sightings. 

The trio of incidents over the weekend are undoubtedly concerning for flight crew and passengers alike. Nonetheless, the troublesome phenomenon is nothing new.

Despite FAA restrictions limiting drones to an altitude of 500 feet and banning flight near airports and heavily populated areas, the devices have become more prevalent of late, making enforcement of those restrictions more challenging and sightings more common. 

This past May, a Shuttle America flight landing at LaGuardia Airport was forced to ascend several hundred feet to avoid a drone in its flight path in one of the more disturbing incidents involving a commercial jetliner and a drone.

The obvious threat to public safety has sparked outcry from many, including New York senator Chuck Schumer, who called for federal action on the issue earlier this year. 

"The FAA has to act and toughen up the rules before a tragedy occurs because if a drone were sucked into a jet engine of a plane filled with passengers untold tragedy could result and we do not, do not, do not want that to happen," said Schumer via CBS New York. 

The White House announced plans to implement drone regulations earlier this year; however finalized rules and requirements are likely still some years away. 

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