Authorities are investigating an unidentified drone’s apparent overflight of an airliner that was on final approach to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.
Video of the event, apparently taken from the drone and later posted online, shows a Frontier Airlines jet approaching the drone. As the drone turns, the airplane is seen directly below it.
There is no indication when the event occurred, or who was operating the drone. A spokesman for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Monday that the FAA is investigating.
Drones are prohibited from operating near other aircraft or higher 400 ft above ground level. They also are prohibited from flying near many airports, including McCarran, except with specific permission.
Organizations representing users of drones — also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) — said in a letter to the FAA that they were “deeply concerned” about the drone operator’s “irresponsible” act, which they said “endangered the airspace and created the real risk of a midair collision with a passenger jet.”
The letter added, “Strict enforcement will not only punish the operator responsible for this unacceptable and reprehensible action but will also serve as a deterrent to others for misusing UAS technology and create accountability among UAS operators,” stakeholders in the UAS community said in a letter to the FAA.
“Collaboratively, our organizations will continue to educate UAS operators about where they should and should not fly to help prevent similar incidents in the future.”
Signers of the letter were the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the Academy of Model Aeronautics, Aerospace Industries Association, Aerospace States Association, Commercial Drone Alliance, Consumer Technology Association, Drone Manufacturers Alliance, Drone User Group Network, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, National Association of State Aviation Officials, National Press Photographers Association and the Small UAV Coalition.