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FBI Investigates Pilot's Report of Spotting Drone in Sky Near NYC Airport


“Sometimes, I see them flying so high."

(Photo: Dkroetsch/Wikimedia)

NEW YORK (TheBlaze/AP) -- The FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating a pilot's report that he spotted a small unmanned aircraft at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

(Photo: Dkroetsch/Wikimedia)

The Alitalia pilot told air traffic controllers that he saw the aircraft as he approached the runway at Kennedy at 1:15 p.m. Monday. The pilot said the aircraft was 4 to 5 miles southeast of the airport and was flying at an altitude of about 1,500 feet.

An FBI spokesman says the pilot reported that the aircraft was about 1 meter long.

The pilot can be heard on radio calls captured by, a website that posts air traffic communications. The pilot said, "We saw a drone, a drone aircraft."

The FAA says the pilot did not take evasive action and the plane landed safely.

Watch this report regarding the possible sighting:

CBS Local out of New York reported an airport shuttle driver telling 1010 WINS radio host John Montone that he sees things like that in the area frequently.

“Sometimes, I see them flying so high," the shuttle driver told Montone.

Last year, Congress passed a bill that required the FAA to expand U.S. airspace to increased military, commercial and private drone use by 2015. With that the FAA is developing more rules for how increased access to this airspace could be allowed safely.

The FAA, through a Freedom of Information Act Request, has also released lists of those who are approved for or who have applied for drone authorization permits.

The use of drones over U.S. soil has been a hot topic of late as it was recently revealed the Obama administration approved use of drone strikes against American citizens if they were a "senior operational” leader of al-Qaeda or a similar associated force. Privacy advocates have also long questioned the use of drones by law enforcement and by others.



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