Authorities are investigating a report that an unmanned aircraft flew near a plane as it tried to land at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday.
The pilot of the Envoy airplane told air traffic controllers that his Embraer 145 aircraft was at an altitude of about 2,000 feet when he saw an unmanned aircraft flying below his plane as it approached a runway about 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19, the FAA said. The flight originated at Dallas-Ft. Worth International, the FAA said.
The agency generally limits the recreational use of airspace by model aircrafts to below 400 feet, and they must stay away from airports and air traffic and within the sight of the operator.
The government is receiving near-daily reports of drones flying near airplanes and helicopters or close to airports without permission, The Associated Press reported this week. Reports of this kind were unusual two years ago, the AP reported.
The FAA, which said it doesn’t use the term drone because it has a military connotation, has said it may take action against model aircraft operators who fly their aircrafts in a manner that endangers safety of the national airspace system.
The FAA is expected to propose regulations before the end of the year that would allow broader commercial use of model aircrafts weighing less than 55 pounds.
The only commercial permits the agency has generated have been to two oil companies operating in Alaska and seven aerial photography companies associated with movie and television production, the Associated Press reported this week.