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In 15-Minute Span, 3 Planes Hit by Lasers Near Dallas

Meanwhile, news crew aids arrest of suspect near Brooklyn

(Newser) - Someone is in trouble near Dallas: Police and the FAA are investigating after three planes were reportedly hit by a laser beam while flying into Dallas Love Field between 7:30pm and 7:45pm on Wednesday. An FAA rep says a Southwest Airlines 737, a Virgin America A319, and a... More »

Feds: Step Right Up, Register Your Drones

No, really: FAA setting up panel to determine which to regulate as more clog skies

(Newser) - The federal government will require many drones to be registered, a move prompted by the growing number of reported close calls and incidents that pose safety risks, officials announced Monday. Pilot sightings of drones have doubled since last year, including sightings near manned aircraft and major sporting events, and interference... More »

1M New Drones Could Buzz Skies This Christmas

The FAA is very worried

(Newser) - Santa better be extra careful during his rounds this year or Rudolph is going to get a faceful of drone. The FAA expects up to 1 million small unmanned aerial vehicles—from cheap toys to high-end quadcopters—to be sold for Christmas this year, and it's extremely concerned about... More »

FAA Glitch Snarls Air Travel on East Coast

Airports in New York, DC especially hard hit

(Newser) - Thousands of travelers along the East Coast faced flight delays today because of technical issues at an FAA center in Virginia, authorities said. FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the agency is investigating an automation problem at an air traffic center in Leesburg, Virginia. Flights into and out of New York-... More »

Lasers Hit 11 Flights Over NJ Last Night: Reports

It's a federal crime to point a laser at a plane

(Newser) - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after 11 commercial flights reported they were illuminated by lasers while flying over New Jersey last night. The FAA says the incidents occurred between 9pm and 10:30pm and that the lasers hit the left and right sides of the cockpits, along with the... More »

FAA Ditches Navigation Codes Named for Trump

No more 'UFIRD' near Palm Beach airport

(Newser) - Easily, the weirdest Donald Trump snub yet: The FAA will rename three navigation codes near the Palm Beach airport that had been named in honor of him. Yes, it seems that in 2010, an air traffic controller who was a big, big fan named three pilot waypoints DONLD, TRMMP, and... More »

Poop Raining From Sky Ruins Girl's Sweet 16

Philadelphia family suspects feces came from a plane

(Newser) - At least the party was memorable. Pennsylvania teen Jacinda Cambray was celebrating her Sweet 16 birthday with about 40 guests in her family's backyard on Sunday when a party pooper brought the event to a screeching halt. Family members had just brought the teen's giant purple cake inside... More »

200-Pound Drone Gets OK to Spray Pesticides

FAA approves Yamaha's RMAX

(Newser) - A drone large enough to carry tanks of fertilizers and pesticides has won rare approval from federal authorities to spray crops in the US, officials say. The drone, called the RMAX, is a remotely piloted helicopter that weighs 207 pounds, according to Steve Markofski of Yamaha, which developed the aircraft.... More »

Report: Hackers Could Use Plane WiFi to Hijack Controls

FAA says it is working with experts on necessary changes

(Newser) - That in-flight WiFi we've all become so fond of could be breached by hackers to take control of the plane, according to a worrying GAO report out yesterday. Passengers, or even people on the ground, could break down firewalls guarding communications and navigation systems, Reuters reports, meaning a hacker... More »

No Charges for White House Drone Pilot

Spy agency hasn't punished him for crash

(Newser) - Sounds like spy agency worker Shawn Usman has some very understanding bosses: Federal authorities have decided not to pursue charges against the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employee for crashing a drone on the White House grounds while off-duty and intoxicated earlier this year, and the NGA says it has taken no... More »

Southwest Is Flying Planes That Missed Inspections

FAA is OK with it, because inspections were for a backup system

(Newser) - Southwest notified the FAA yesterday of a serious oversight—it failed to conduct a mandatory inspection of some of its planes' rudder systems. Here's the weird part: The inspections still aren't done, but the planes are still flying. The FAA granted the airline an unusual waiver to keep... More »

FAA Trying to Regulate Moon Business

Reuters analyzes FAA letter to Bigelow Aerospace

(Newser) - Can American businesses now stake their claim on the moon? That's the indication from an FAA letter to Bigelow Aerospace, in which the agency reveals plans to "leverage the FAA's existing launch licensing authority to encourage private sector investments in space systems by ensuring that commercial activities... More »

FAA: Drones Nearly Hit Planes 25 Times in 6 Months

Reports of close calls are surging

(Newser) - Air travelers appear to have a genuine new problem to fret about: small drones. The FAA has logged 25 close calls with planes since June 1, reports the Washington Post . By "close call," it means an instance in which a drone "came within a few seconds or... More »

Planes Rerouted to Prevent Walrus Stampede

FAA warns media, gawkers to stay away, not spook beached animals

(Newser) - Aircraft, media, and curious folks in general have been instructed to stay far away from the 35,000 walruses crammed onto an Alaskan beach to prevent the easily spooked animals from stampeding each other to death, the Guardian reports. "When they lose their sea ice habitat and come ashore... More »

2 Weeks Until Chicago Control Center Reopens: FAA

Officials hope everything's up and running by Oct. 13 after sabotage

(Newser) - The Federal Aviation Administration says it will take about two weeks to fully reopen a Chicago-area control center, where an act of sabotage brought the city's two international airports to a halt last week. The FAA said yesterday it hopes to return the facility to full service by Oct.... More »

FAA Lifts Israel Flight Ban

Astronaut tweets 'saddest photo' from space

(Newser) - Amid heavy lobbying from Israel, the FAA lifted its ban on flights to Tel Aviv's airport just before midnight, saying it had reviewed "significant new information and measures the government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation." Israeli officials had urged the US... More »

FAA Extends Flight Ban to Israel

Even as Michael Bloomberg flies in to prove it's safe

(Newser) - Travelers stuck in limbo because of flights grounded at the Tel Aviv airport just got some bad news: The FAA is extending its ban on flights to the Ben Gurion International Airport for at least another 24 hours, to 12:15pm Eastern tomorrow, reports CNN . European airlines are following suit,... More »

Amid Flight Ban, Kerry Lands in Israel

White House rejects request to drop FAA ban

(Newser) - As Israel continued to pound Gaza, John Kerry arrived for cease-fire talks today, landing in Tel Aviv despite the FAA's 24-hour ban on US flights to Israel . The secretary of state, whose Air Force flight was not affected by the commercial ban brought in after a rocket hit a... More »

Feds OK Commercial Drone Flights Over Land

'Puma' will keep watch over BP's pipelines in Alaska

(Newser) - The aircraft now keeping an eye on BP's pipelines near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, has an unusual way of taking off: It gets thrown. That's because it's a drone called Puma, and it happens to be the first drone approved for commercial flights over land in the US,... More »

FAA: Passenger Jet Nearly Collides With Drone

Official says it's become a 'very real' problem for pilots

(Newser) - A US airliner nearly collided with a drone in the sky over Tallahassee, Florida, say federal officials.The FAA's Jim Williams acknowledged the incident Thursday at a San Francisco drone conference, citing it as an example of the "very real" risks posed by integrating drones into US airspace.... More »

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