Ground drones now: Jim Hall
Jim Hall 5:27 p.m. EDT August 20, 2015
Bloodshed is inevitable if FAA doesn’t act fast.
A DJI Phantom 2 drone is seen during a drone demonstration at a farm and winery, on potential use for board members of the National Corn Growers, Thursday, June 11, 2015 (Photo: (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))
4 CONNECT 7 TWEET](https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=http%3A//usat.ly/1NIoKE7&text=Ground%20drones%20now%3A%20Jim%20Hall&via=usatoday)LINKEDIN 1 COMMENTEMAILMORE
The Federal Aviation Administration, which is required to protect hundreds of millions of passengers who fly the U.S. airways each year, continues to permit dangerous unmanned aircraft — drones — to threaten the safety of airliners every day. It needs to stop these flights until it reclaims its authority over our skies by regulating these vehicles that are untethered by federal law or, in some cases, common sense.
Early this month, two airliners approaching New York’s Kennedy Airport came within 100 feet of disaster on the same afternoon when drones nearly hit them. Hundreds of passengers were placed at risk because the FAA allows these unregistered aircraft to fly in our busiest skies in close quarters with jumbo jets.
These were not isolated incidents. Last year, pilots reported 238 drone sightings near their aircraft. This year, we are on pace to surpass 1,000 with nearly 700 so far.
Just this Sunday, The Washington Post reports](https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/faa-records-detail-hundreds-of-close-calls-between-airplanes-and-drones/2015/08/20/5ef812ae-4737-11e5-846d-02792f854297_story.html?wpisrc=al_alert-COMBO-exclusive%2Bnational), the military scrambled fighter jets over Washington to respond to a drone reported in restricted airspace.
It is only a matter of sheer luck that one of these drones has not hit a windshield of an airliner traveling at more than 500 miles an hour, or gotten sucked into an engine. Jet engines have been known to fail when ingesting 8-pound birds. What would a 55-pound metal drone do?
](“http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/08/17/association--unmanned-vehicle-systems-international-editorials-debates/31873021/”)USA TODAY](http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/08/17/association--unmanned-vehicle-systems-international-editorials-debates/31873021/)Drone safety is our top priority: Another view](http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/08/17/association--unmanned-vehicle-systems-international-editorials-debates/31873021/) ](“http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/06/27/faa-aircraft-models-hobbyists-ama-column/71006100/”)USA TODAY](http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/06/27/faa-aircraft-models-hobbyists-ama-column/71006100/)FAA rules clip hobbyists’ wings: Column](http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/06/27/faa-aircraft-models-hobbyists-ama-column/71006100/)](“http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/08/17/drones-faa-unmanned-aircraft-editorials-debates/31827063/”)