Aircraft pilots are reporting a dramatic increase in drone sightings to the Federal Aviation Administration, with the number on pace to quadruple for the year, increasing concerns of a potentially dangerous collision.

Recently, four airline crews reported seeing drones while approaching Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey at 2,000 to 3,000 feet in the air.  All landed safely without taking evasive action.

Pilots from a variety of aircraft reported 650 drone sightings this year through Aug. 9, compared with 238 sightings in all of 2014.

When it comes to our airports, safety has to come first, said Joe Sitt, the alliance's founder and chairman.  It is past time for the FAA to step up and protect the nation's most crowded airspace for the 117 million passengers who use it every year.

FAA is developing comprehensive rules for drones.  For now, drone hobbyists must stay below 400 feet and commercial drone pilots must stay below 500 feet, and both must avoid flying within 5 miles of an airport unless they have the air traffic control tower's permission.