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Ross: Why we should ground all the drones right now

A drone with a camera mounted on it. (KIRO 7)

I’m one of those people who feels the government shutdown never should have happened. But there is a shutdown that needs to happen right now.

Newark Liberty International Airport recently stopped flights when drones were spotted by a couple pilots while landing there.

Enough! Ground the drones now.

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I have friends who love drones and would never misuse them. But as with guns, there are always a few people who spoil it for everybody else. And if the FAA doesn’t act now, there will be too many, and it will be too late.

Did you hear how close they got? One pilot said the drone was 20-30 feet from his plane.

And how high they were? Two drones were flying at about 3,500 feet. The rule is 400 feet!

Someone tell me why a company is even allowed to make a drone that can fly higher than that.

A hobby drone should be mechanically incapable of flying higher than 400 feet. And to even turn itself on, it should have to dial up an FAA computer over the cell network and post its position in real time. And the moment it gets anywhere near an airport, it should land itself at the nearest police station, and turn itself in as evidence.

Until drones can be re-designed to do this, they should be grounded.

I never want to hear Kris van Cleave report “a very close call” ever again.

One heroic river landing is enough.

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