Albany International Airport issued a warning to drone operators Monday after an airline crew reported a drone operating near the airport over the weekend, in violation of Federal Aviation Administration rules.
The airport, in a statement Monday, said an American Airlines crew about 4:15 p.m. Saturday reported seeing a drone flying near its own altitude as it was making its final landing approach, with the incident occurring about 2 miles south of the airport’s main runway — 3 miles closer than FAA rules allow.
The commercial flight was coming from Reagan National Airport in Washington. The crew reported the incident as the plane was descending — at about 1,000 feet altitude — airport spokesman Doug Myers said.
A drone at the same altitude as a commercial flight is the exact scenario the FAA wants to avoid with its drone rules, Myers said.
“It could easily strike a plane or get ingested into the engine,” Myers said. “We don’t want an incident, either for the people on the plane or on the ground. Don’t do it.”
The crew reported the incident to the control tower, and the control tower passed the information to airport security and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. A search was conducted in the vicinity of the Marriott hotel on Wolf Road, but the drone and its operator were not found. Wolf Road is one of the region’s most-congested commercial corridors, and lies below a common flight path.
The flight landed without incident.
The FAA prohibits drone operations within 5 miles of an airport without approval from the FAA and the airport. The FAA says violators could face civil fines or even…
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