Plane Has Near-miss With Drone at Ben-Gurion Airport

Pilots on the Brussels Airlines airbus 320 saw a dark-colored drone flying just 100 meters in front of them as they came in to land.

Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zohar Blumenkrantz
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A drone.
A drone. Credit: Screenshot from YouTube
Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zohar Blumenkrantz

A Brussels Airlines plane coming in to Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport nearly crashed into a drone on Monday, but luckily disaster was averted.

The incident occurred when the airbus 320 started to drop in altitude as it started to land. The flight crew spotted a dark-colored square drone with four rotors flying in front of them. The drone was passing from right to left at the same altitude as the plane, at a distance of only 100 meters.

The pilots reported the near-tragedy to a member of air traffic control, who started to investigate with the help of the Israel Airports Authority, the chief air traffic accidents investigator at the Transportation Ministry Raz Itzhak, and other officials from the IAA. The police were also notified but the operator of the drone has yet to be found.

In his report, Itzhak wrote, "This is a serious incident that represents a worrying trend that is only increasing." He added that more and more people are flying private and commercial drones "without regulations, with no coordination or knowledge of the responsible authorities."

This trend has "been discussed in the last two years in a large number of international conferences, in light of the understanding that this causes a real security risk," he added.

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