A drone flying more than 20 times the allowed height came within 15m (50ft) of a Boeing 737 approaching a runway at Stansted Airport in Essex. The plane was flying at 10,000ft (3km) and coming in to land on 17 August when the captain spotted the drone. The first officer then saw "a dark-coloured square or rectangle-shaped object pass down the right side of the aircraft with minimal separation". The UK Airprox Board rated the risk of collision as the highest possible. After the incident, which happened at 16:36 BST, the plane was inspected on the ground and found no evidence of contact or damage.
For years tech companies such as Amazon, Alphabet and Uber have promised us delivery drones bringing goods to our doorsteps in a matter of minutes. So why are they taking so long to arrive? If our skies are to become as crowded as our streets, airspace rules need updating to prevent accidents, terrorist attacks, and related problems, such as noise pollution. But that's easier said than done. According to a recent study by Nasa, the noise made by road traffic was "systematically judged to be less annoying" than the high-pitched buzzing made by drones.
Of the 14 drones that will be used, 11 are DJI Mavic Pro quadcopters, a smaller device that can be deployed quickly for tactical operations. Two DJI M210 RTK quadcopters will be used for search and rescue missions. These are larger, weather-resistant drones with a high-zoom camera, thermal imaging capabilities and 3D mapping. The NYPD will also have one DJI Inspire 1 quadcopter, which will be used for training and testing purposes.
This appears to be the first confirmed use of drones by an extremist group in Africa, according to the World of Drones project run by the Washington-based New America think tank. Its section on non-state actors notes that Libyan rebels are reported to have used drones for surveillance in that chaotic North African nation.
If you're a nefarious sort, you might use a commercial drone to smuggle drugs, carry explosives, or to just spy on your neighbors. Drones are appealing to criminals in part because they seem fairly anonymous, flitting through the sky with an invisible digital tether to its owner. But anonymity is no longer a safe bet. In the hands of crime investigators, a drone can reveal a range of personal and financial information about its owner. Most of these details are stored in memory chips inside the drone's circuit board.
Mobile phone carrier KDDI Corp. said Thursday it plans to start using drones to support rescue operations and search for missing hikers on Mount Fuji from next summer, aiming to eventually expand the service to other areas. KDDI successfully conducted a trial in conjunction with the Gotemba Municipal Government, a city to the west of the 3,776-meter-high peak; Yamap Inc., a developer of smartphone map applications; and weather information provider Weathernews Inc. During a simulated search operation carried out in late October, the drone was able to locate the position of a missing hiker who was carrying a device with global positioning capabilities, and help observe the status of the person in need of assistance. Coupled with a newly developed system that monitors and forecasts weather conditions, a drone operator selected the most suitable flight route to the location of the missing person so that rescuers could be mobilized. KDDI said it plans to add a microphone and a speaker to the drone in the future so that rescuers and hikers can communicate.
DJI makes some of the most popular quadcopters on the market, but its products have repeatedly drawn scrutiny from the United States government over privacy and security concerns. Most recently, the Department of Defense in May banned the purchase of consumer drones made by a handful of vendors, including DJI. Now DJI has patched a problematic vulnerability in its cloud infrastructure that could have allowed an attacker to take over users' accounts and access private data like photos and videos taken during drone flights, a user's personal account information, and flight logs that include location data. A hacker could have even potentially accessed real-time drone location and a live camera feed during a flight. The security firm Check Point discovered the issue and reported it in March through DJI's bug bounty program.
FUKUSHIMA – Japan Post Co. on Wednesday began transporting documents by drone in Fukushima Prefecture, the first operation of its kind in Japan, following easing of regulations to cope with labor shortages in the transport industry. The company said it will initially use drones to carry its own documents and advertisements between two post offices in the northeastern prefecture to examine whether the unmanned aircraft can be used to carry mail. In the future, it hopes to use drones for deliveries to mountainous regions and remote islands. It launched the operation after the government eased related regulations in September. Prior to easing restrictions, an operator was required to keep the drone in view.