The number of incidents involving drones and aircraft has been rapidly increasing. Recent incidents included Apache and Puma helicopters in the UK, multiple incidents in Melbourne, Australia, drone inference with firefighting planes in California, as well as incidents at Gatwick, Dubai and other airports.
On September 22, 2017, the New York Post reported a collision between a US Army Black Hawk helicopter and a rogue drone over Staten Island in New York. The Army helicopter is understood to have conducted an emergency landing following the collision, and the authorities are investigating the incident.
The Australian Financial Review has recently quoted the Australian Senator O'Sullivan, an air crash investigator of 20 years, as saying "My personal view is that this is a catastrophe waiting to happen". DroneShield agrees with that view. Sadly, given the proliferation of drones and their propensity for careless or even nefarious/rogue use, a loss of life in an aircraft and drone collision is just a matter of time.
To address drone risks, airports today adopt the strategy of halting traffic when a drone is identified in their airspace, and is typically initiated based on casual human observation of a drone at the airspace, which is subject to human error. Once a traffic halt is in place, the airport loses hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the duration of the halt.