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Drones spotted near aircraft, airports 'increased dramatically' in last 2 years, FAA says

Pilot reported this week seeing drone near aircraft while approaching Palm Beach International Airport
Posted at 5:57 PM, Mar 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-03 17:57:25-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Contact 5 is digging into an incident near Palm Beach International Airport between an aircraft and a drone.  

A spokesperson with the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to Contact 5 that a charter air pilot reported Wednesday seeing a drone off the right side of an aircraft while on approach to Palm Beach International Airport at about noon.  

The FAA hasn't released any other details about the incident.  

WPTV did some checking and discovered these types of sightings involving unmanned aircraft are not unusual.  

FAA data we reviewed shows 13 incidents during 2022 near and around PBIA involving commercial and private aircraft. One pilot flying an Airbus A321 from Atlanta reported an unmanned aircraft at 1,200 feet just 3 miles west of PBIA.  

The FAA reports sightings have "increased dramatically over the past two years" with more than 100 reports each month.  

The FAA wants to remind operators that it's dangerous and illegal to operate a drone around airplanes, helicopters and airports. Operators caught doing this could face civil penalties and even criminal charges.

Click here to learn more about areas that the FAA defines as "No Drone Zones."

Visit the FAA website to learn more about drone safety, rules and statistics.

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