General Atomics flew a civilian-registered SkyGuardian UAV across the Atlantic in July 2018 to attend the RIAT airshow, for example.
That would required clearing the airspace. As well as being incredibly disruptive, it would take a long time to get everyone down safely.
There are circumstances under which a military aircraft commanders would declare responsibility for air safety in a crowded airspace (MARSA, "due regard") but that aircraft theft wasn't one of them.
maybe someone would look in the cabin and think it was weird they didn't see a head waving back, but in most cases i'd doubt it.
In other instances me and several members of our community literally went around trying to find who the hell was operating some drones over their properties (because they were dangerously close to some fragile things), and no one could find them. So possibly had some line of sight, but were pretty darn sneaky.
But that isn’t what this article is about - this is the first commercial use waiver for a UAS over the 55lb weight limit.