Drone flew 30 metres from airliner at Manchester airport

The Guardian

A drone was flown just 30 metres from a Boeing 757 jet near Manchester airport, according to an official near-miss report. The pilot of the airliner "expressed his surprise" after spotting the object shortly after take-off, the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) said. He was turning right at an altitude of 450 metres (1,500ft) – a "critical phase of flight" – when the incident occurred. The report stated that the drone was "extremely close to the aircraft", passing just 15 metres above and 30 metres to the left. Experts "quickly agreed that there had been a definite risk of collision" and the incident was put in the most serious risk category.

Three customer service robots land in San Jose airport


Silicon Valley is synonymous with innovation and high-tech, and Mineta San Jose International Airport wants to make sure travelers know it. The Silicon Valley travel hub is the first airport in the U.S. to introduce customer service robots. The three robotic gals (stationed in front of gates 11, 21, and 25) provide travelers with entertainment, as well as directions to dining and shopping destinations. "It's very important for Silicon Valley's airport to offer services for our travelers that are iconic to our region...we want to create a sense of place," said Rosemary Barnes, a public information manager at San Jose airport. The bots are not only iconic to the region.

Disney can fly drones after unblocking its parks' no-fly zones


For their high price of admission, Disneyland and Disney World offer park-wide immersion and entertainment capped off with nightly shows and seasonal fireworks. Back in 2014, they applied for patents to augment these spectaculars with drones to carry screens or light pyrotechnics themselves. Today, they've finally gotten permission from the FAA to light up their happiest skies with UAVs, and already have shows planned for this winter. But getting there meant getting a special exception for the no-fly zone over its Florida park Disney got in the books a decade ago. That ban, acquired in the post-9/11 days when the Magic Kingdom lobbied for safety, hasn't been extended to any of the other 400 amusement parks in the US.

Apple's deal with Indian ride-hailing firm Ola hints at bigger connected car ambitions

Los Angeles Times

Apple may have scrapped its plans to build self-driving cars, but if its recent deal with Indian ride-hailing firm Ola is anything to go by, the tech giant's auto industry ambitions are far from over. Ola, India's largest ride-hailing company, announced Tuesday that it is partnering with Apple to offer Apple Music as part of the in-car experience. The firm, which also announced partnerships with Sony, Qualcomm and Audio Compass, said the service will be made available in some of its vehicles as part of a platform called Ola Play. When passengers book an Ola ride, they will be able to interact with an in-car tablet to control the vehicle's air conditioning, music, watch videos and even read ebooks. "Cars were initially built for the driver," Ola Chief Executive Bhavish Agarwal said during a news conference reported on by India media outlet YourStory.

Near misses between drones and airplanes on the rise in US, says FAA

The Guardian

A report of drone sightings from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shows that despite a new registration scheme, near misses between unmanned and piloted aircraft in American are on the rise. Sightings by pilots and airport officials have steadily increased from less than one a day in 2014, to over 3.5 between August 2015 and January this year, many of them from commercial passenger aircraft. In the most serious incident, the pilot of an American Airlines jet last September had to swerve to avoid a drone. On September 13, flight 475 took off from Atlanta, Georgia en route to Charlotte, North Carolina. It was climbing to 3,500 ft when the pilot of the Airbus had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with an unidentified unmanned aerial system (UAS) or drone.