NEW YORK'S Newark Liberty international airport was forced to halt flights on Tuesday after reports of a drone sighting.
The incident, reminiscent of the drone-related borkage that recently affected London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports, began after drones were seen flying at approximately 3,500ft over another nearby airport, Teterboro, after which "takeoffs from Newark were halted and inbound planes were held in the air."
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) initially reported sightings of two separate drones but later stated the two sightings appeared to be of the same one, CNN reports.
According to transcripts from air traffic control obtained by CBS, the nuisance drone came within "30 feet" of a flight.
"There's something flying here, we thought it might be a drone. There is definitely something there," the transcript reads. "Yes sir, it definitely looks like a drone… We missed the drone about 30 feet away from the right wing."
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates both the Newark and Teterboro airports, said later on Tuesday that normal operations had resumed.
It also said it was coordinating with the FAA and law enforcement authorities "as they investigate the incident".
Here in Blighty, budget airline Easyjet said this week that the drone incident at Gatwick - which grounded more than 10,000 flights and saw a further 400 cancelled - cost it a cool £15m in passenger compensation.
The airline called the incident a "wake up call" for the industry, and the firm's CEO, Johan Lundgren, said he was "disappointed" the airport took so long to resolve the situation and reopen the runways.
Since, however, both Gatwick and Heathrow have purchased multi-million-pound anti-drone systems. While details on the tech remain thin, the airports have indicated that it's similar to the tech brought in by the British military at the end of the mini-crisis; a Drone Dome system which can track devices from up to six miles away and sever communications with the operator. µ
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