Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – UAV’s or “drones” as they are called – are on the way. http://bit.ly/uvkZwg
The Drone Next Door: New FAA Rules Will Increase UAVs In National Airspace
JILLIAN RAYFIELD FEBRUARY 9, 2012
A new set of laws will require the FAA to ease up on the rules governing domestic drone use — and to find a way to integrate them into national airspace alongside regular aircraft.
Earlier this week, the Senate passed a bill by a vote of 75-20 that had been fought over in Congress for several years, which appropriates $63.4 billion for the FAA, and, among other things, requires the FAA to loosen restrictions on domestic drone use by September, 2015.
Currently, the FAA has a strict process of licensing agencies to operate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles within the U.S., and limits where they can be flown for safety reasons. Primarily, the unarmed UAVs are being used by some law enforcement agencies for surveillance and emergency situations.
The FAA was already planning to issue new, looser standards for issuing the licenses in the next couple of months, but the bill sets a hard deadline for those rules to be finished within 90 days.
But the legislation also requires the FAA to expand the list of who can operate the drones, and where and when they can be flown. “A government public safety agency” will be able to operate drones of a certain size as long as certain safety conditions are met. And the FAA is now required “to safely accelerate the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system.”
The ACLU, which has recently sued the government for records on predator drone strikes targeting U.S. citizens overseas, is wary of the bill’s provisions that will allow the UAVs to have more access to national airspace.
New York Time
February 20, 2012
Drones in Afghanistan, Drones in … Akron?
Now that American civilians have wide latitude to use drone aircraft, the potential is dizzying: shooting Hollywood films, crop dusting, monitoring weather, spying on neighbors, photographing celebrities.
Should the government restrict where drones can fly and film, to protect people’s privacy? Or should we all assume that if we are outdoors or near a window, we have no privacy?READ THE DISCUSSION »