- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning to law enforcement to be on alert for drones that could be used by terrorists after pilots at John F. Kennedy International spotted a third drone in as many days near the runway Sunday.  

A pilot of a Shuttle America flight from Richmond, Virginia, spotted the drone on the left side of his plane as it approached the runway around 6 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said, CBS reported. 

On Friday afternoon, the FAA said Delta and JetBlue pilots had each reported sighting a drone as well. 

The first incident happened just before 2:30 p.m. when a JetBlue flight inbound from Haiti reported seeing the drone, CBS reported. 

Then, around 5 p.m., Delta Flight 407 from Orlando had a close encounter with a drone, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). 

The pilots in both incidents did not take any evasive actions, and the planes landed safely, CBS reported. 

In response to the sightings, DHS issued a bulletin, warning that drones could be used by terrorists. 

“The rising trend in UAS incidents within the National Airspace System will continue, as UAS gain wider appeal with recreational users and commercial applications,” the statement reads, the Daily Mail reported. 

‘While many of these encounters are not malicious in nature, they underscore potential security vulnerabilities … that could be used by adversaries to leverage UAS as part of an attack,’ the statement reads.

It’s illegal to fly a drone within five miles of an airport. 

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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