A small hovering drone was reported by an Alitalia pilot near New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport about 1 p.m. on Monday, officials said on Tuesday. “The FAA is investigating a report … [the pilot] saw a small, unmanned or remote-controlled aircraft while on final approach to Runway 31 Right,” FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told CNN. The drone came within about 200 feet of the Alitalia airplane, according to the FBI. It was described as black in color with four propellers, and about three feet wide. The sighting was about four to five miles west of the airport at an altitude of about 1,500 feet, the FAA said. That location would put the drone somewhere over Brooklyn, according to CNN. The Alitalia pilot took no evasive action and the aircraft landed safely.
Controllers warned other approaching aircraft about the sighting, but at least two pilots said they didn’t see it, CNN reported. Recreational drones are not allowed within three miles of an airport without prior permission. They also are supposed to stay below 400 feet and within sight of the operator. The FBI has asked the public to report any information about the aircraft or the operator. “Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers and crew,” said Special Agent in Charge John Giacalone.