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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.


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.


They're 400,000 strong and the Pentagon sees them as an emerging threat

Los Angeles Times

The Pentagon, the world's largest user of drones, has posted a new policy on signs outside the mammoth five-sided building: No Drone Zone. The signs, complete with a red slash through an image of a quadcopter drone, reflect America's growing concern about the proliferation of the small, inexpensive remote-controlled devices and the risk they pose to safety, security and privacy. Federal law prohibits flying a drone anywhere in and around Washington, an area known as the National Capital Region. Other communities and institutions across the country are wrestling with the potential threat from more than 400,000 private and commercial drones now registered to operate in the skies. The pilot of a commercial jetliner said his plane nearly collided with a drone while approaching Los Angeles International Airport on Friday afternoon, sparking a search by L.A. police and sheriff's officials for the owner of the unmanned aircraft.


Essential California: Scandals, racial tensions claim San Francisco's police chief

Los Angeles Times

The Expo Line, which opens today, will get you from downtown L.A. to Santa Monica in 50 minutes. That's the same as the old Red Car system took more than a half-century ago. Some experts say speeding up Metro's rail lines is crucial to the goal of getting more commuters out of their cars and using mass transit. San Francisco's police chief stepped down under pressure amid growing controversies over allegations of corruption and racially biased behavior on the part of the department. There was another fatal shooting that generated debate hours earlier.


Three customer service robots land in San Jose airport

PCWorld

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.