Sunday, July 22, 2012

FAA Has Authorized 106 Government ‘Entities’ to Fly Domestic Drones

This is not necessarily a bad thing as a lot of people fear. As with most, it is the way something is used and not the tool itself that can be troublesome. There is certainly the potential for a lot of problems (think privacy), but there are many benefits as well (think search and rescue and infrastructure observation/maintenance).

"Since Jan. 1 of this year, according to congressional testimony presented Thursday by the Government Accountability Office, the Federal Aviation Administration has authorized 106 federal, state and local government “entities” to fly “unmanned aircraft systems,” also known as drones, within U.S. airspace.

“We are now on the edge of a new horizon: using unmanned aerial systems within the homeland,” House Homeland Security Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Michael McCaul (R.-Texas) said as he introduced the testimony.

“Currently,” said McCaul, “there are about 200 active Certificates of Authorization issued by the Federal Aviation Administration to over 100 different entities, such as law enforcement departments and academic institutions, to fly drones domestically.”

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