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FAA Releases Study on Drone Collisions with Planes

A new FAA study, The UAS Air-to-Air Collision Severity Evaluation Final Report, finds that drones that collide with aircrafts are more damaging than bird strikes. The study suggests that new aircraft manufacturing standards be developed and required so that planes can better withstand such strikes. Another recommendation was that technology needs to be improved to help drones detect and avoid planes.

The team of researchers from four universities—Mississippi State University, Montana State University, Ohio State University, and Wichita State University—conducted the research, using drones weighing 2.7lb to 8lb over a 14 month period under 140 scenarios. The results were that "a significant economic burden" is produced for aircraft operators, due to downtime and repairs to items such as windscreens on aircraft.

A similar study was performed in the United Kingdom for its own government. That study suggests that drone strikes could cause critical damage to planes. The UK government has since proposed licensing for all drone operators from next year onward.

To learn more about the FAA’s efforts in this area, please visit:  and to download the report, please visit

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