‘Unauthorized’ drone activity causes ground stop at Newark airport

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

Air traffic at Newark Liberty International Airport was temporarily put on hold after a drone was spotted flying nearby.

Officials say that a pilot spotted the drone at 3,500 feet just before 5 p.m. near Teterboro Airport.

Arrivals at Newark Liberty were held for a time, but resumed around 5:45 p.m., and inbound flights were held at their origin until 6:45 p.m. There were some residual delays due to the stop, but normal operations resumed a short time later.

Most travelers said although the delays were a bit of a bother, it was better to be safe than sorry.

“I’d rather be safe and have to hang up there than have something happen,” said passenger Adam Paris.

Operating a drone near any airport is prohibited, according to rules by the Federal Aviation Administration due to safety concerns.

FAA guidelines state that a drone operator must, "Provide prior notification to the airport and air traffic control tower, if one is present, when flying within 5 miles of an airport."

The FAA says between 2015 and 2016, about 600 drones flew too close to an airport. Operators can face fines for using their drones recklessly.

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