U.S. skies may soon be open to drones
27 November 2012
Unmanned drones are cheaper than manned aircraft and can be used in a variety of ways, such as assessing environmental threats and damage from natural disaster, tracking criminals trying to escape on a highway, and assessing wildfires; according to an FAA prediction, 30,000 drones could be flying in the United States in less than twenty years; lawmakers and privacy advocates want the use of these drones more tightly regulated.
The U.S. government is attempting to open up the sky for drone use all over the nation. The sixty members House of Representatives’ Drone Caucus have pushed the agenda, and over the last four years caucus members have raised almost $8 million in drone-related campaign contributions.
The Houston Chronicle reports that theFederal Aviation Administration (FAA) is swamped with applications from police departments, universities, private corporations, and even celebrity tabloid site TMZ seeking to use a wide range of drones for everything from law enforcement to weather mapping to stalking celebrities.
Drone use in the United States began with aerial patrols of the Mexican Border Patrol authorities. Since then the drone industry, along with law enforcement, have demanded more drone use, which led to provisions in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act which was signed into law in February....