Taking off from Miguel Hidalgo and Costilla de Guadalajara International Airport  (GDL) and safely landing at General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport (TIJ) on December 12, Aeromexico flight AM770 would have been business as usual. Except for the fact that Boeing 737-800 reached its destination with a shattered nose, prompting speculation – has Aeromexico endured mid-air drone collision?

Upon approach to Tijuana airport, pilots heard a loud bang. Pictures taken after the incident show damages on the nose and sensors, including the weather sensor, of the 737-800. The signs are typical of a bird strike situation, with the exception that blood and feathers are nowhere to be seen. Local media speculates that the aircraft could have collided with a drone, however, there has not been any official confirmation yet.

The risks of drone for aviation, whether it is civilian or military, has worried numerous experts since the gadgets appeared on the market in the mid-2010s, and have since become a full-blown hobby. Today, the FAA receives more than a hundred reports of drone sightings from pilots, law enforcement or civilians.

Several incidents have already occurred. In October 2017, a Skyjet flight heading to Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) in Quebec, Canada, was struck by a drone. Fortunately, no damage was reported. In February 2018, footage taken by a drone around a Frontiers Airline aircraft over McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas, United States, prompted several airline lobbyists and trade unions to call for tighter regulations of civilian drone operations.

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A video recorded from a drone that flew within feet of an airliner over Las Vegas has prompted influential US aviation lobbies to call for tighter regulations.