New Jerseys Newark Freedom International Airport was shut down on May 21 due to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) interfering with the aircrafts takeoff and landing.
The Washington Post quoted Gregory Martin, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, as saying that at about 5 p.m., two unmanned aerial vehicles were found operating near the Tatterborough airport. As a precaution, the entire Newark Freedom International Airport was temporarily closed.
Newark Freedom International Airport is one of the three largest airports in New York and one of the busiest airports in the United States. Taterborough Airport is a Regional Airport 20 miles north of Newark Freedom International Airport, serving private and corporate flights.
UAV activities not only distract pilotsattention, but also cause serious damage to airliners. Officials say the UAV flew at an altitude of 3,500 feet (about 1 kilometer).
Passengers said that some flights were forced to circle overhead due to the closure of the airport before they were allowed to land.
At present, the operation of Newark Freedom International Airport has been restored. The airport closed for about 90 minutes, and the number of flights and passengers affected by the incident is uncertain.
However, the New York Times quoted the pilot of an American United Airlines passenger plane, which had been scheduled to land in Newark at 6 p.m., as saying that his plane had been hovering in the air for about 20 minutes because of the UAV activity and then had to turn to Philadelphia to refuel.
On the day of the airport closure, United Airlines said it was monitoring UAV activity in the Newark area. However, United Airlines said that the impact of UAVs on its flight operations is minimal and hopes to resume normal airport operations as soon as possible.
Last month, London Gatwick Airport was closed for three days because of the discovery of an unmanned aerial vehicle flying over. Three weeks later, on Jan. 8, London Heathrow Airport was suspended due to UAVs. Since then, both British airports have ordered military-grade anti-UAV equipment.
According to the Washington Post, an unmanned aircraft collided with an airliner over Quebec in 2017. Although the airliner landed safely, officials warned that it would be devastating when the airliner was indeed affected.
At present, many airports around the world are more or less facing the risk of UAV invasion, how to prevent it has become an important issue.
Observer Network military commentators have analyzed that although small civil UAVs have limited flight performance, they are small and difficult to be accurately positioned by ordinary radar. Most of the time, they can only be found by human visual search, which makes continuous tracking difficult. If there is no special UAV search and jamming equipment in the airport, it is difficult to shoot down the UAV easily by ordinary sniper guns or helicopters.
Source: Responsible Editor of Observer Network: Qian Mingxiao_NBJ10675