Four commercial airliners reported seeing a drone buzzing around the approach to the runway at a Newark Liberty International Airport, Sunday, according to officials at the FAA.
This means that in the past fortnight SEVEN airliners have reported narrow misses with drones. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has issued an alert stating that it believes drones could be used in a terror attack on airliners.
As reported by NBC New York, the crews of the four airliners spotted the drone at an altitude of around 2,000 to 3,000 feet.
The machines are banned within five miles of airports, and are not permitted to fly above 400 feet. Violations of these rules may result in fines of up to $25,000 and criminal charges.
Just over week ago, two commercial airplanes each came within 100 feet of a drone buzzing around JFK airport, according to audio from each flight’s radio calls.
A third incident occurred just two days later over South Jersey, as the pilot of a Piper PA28 aircraft spotted a drone approximately 1000 feet, about 25 miles northwest of the Sewell Airport. The pilot had to take evasive action in order to avoid hitting the drone.
The FAA says it is now receiving on average two reports per day from pilots saying they have seen drones near airports.
Aviation experts have warned that the machines constitute a significant threat to planes and pilots, given that they could destroy an engine or crash through the cockpit.
The recent reports come in tandem with a bulletin issued by The Department of Homeland Security warning police that there is an increasing risk that a terror attack will be carried out using drones.
While the alert did not identity a specific security threat, it warned of “emerging adversary use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems present detection and disruption challenges.”
“While many of these encounters are not malicious in nature, they underscore potential security vulnerabilities … that could be used by adversaries to leverage (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) as part of an attack,” according to the federal memo obtained by CBS.
CNN analyst Bob Baer speculated on how drones could be used by those seeking to attack planes.
“This is crazy,” Baer said. “You can take these drones and, with a 3D printer, make them out of explosives. They’re very dangerous and they’re advancing pretty quickly.”
Are these drones a real threat, or are we seeing some predictive programming at work here, preparing Americans for a terror attack in the near future?
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.