Skip to comments.Government under pressure to open US skies to unmanned drones despite safety concerns
Posted on 06/14/2010 6:41:30 PM PDT by Lucky9teen
WASHINGTON (AP) Unmanned aircraft have proved their usefulness and reliability in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the pressure's on to allow them in the skies over the United States.
The Federal Aviation Administration has been asked to issue flying rights for a range of pilotless planes to carry out civilian and law-enforcement functions but has been hesitant to act. Officials are worried that they might plow into airliners, cargo planes and corporate jets that zoom around at high altitudes, or helicopters and hot air balloons that fly as low as a few hundred feet off the ground.
On top of that, these pilotless aircraft come in a variety of sizes. Some are as big as a small airliner, others the size of a backpack. The tiniest are small enough to fly through a house window.
The obvious risks have not deterred the civilian demand for pilotless planes. Tornado researchers want to send them into storms to gather data. Energy companies want to use them to monitor pipelines. State police hope to send them up to capture images of speeding cars' license plates. Local police envision using them to track fleeing suspects.
Like many robots, the planes have advantages over humans for jobs that are dirty, dangerous or dull. And the planes often cost less than piloted aircraft and can stay aloft far longer.
"There is a tremendous pressure and need to fly unmanned aircraft in (civilian) airspace," Hank Krakowski, FAA's head of air traffic operations, told European aviation officials recently. "We are having constant conversations and discussions, particularly with the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, to figure out how we can do this safely with all these different sizes of vehicles.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Government under pressure?
Law enforcement I might see. But no civilian agency needs to fly drones anywhere. The civilian companies that make them can test fly them on a military reservation.
Unmanned drones = the new version of “black helicopters”?
They should be used on the border —they’re perfect.
Instead, they’ll be used for revenue raising; catching speeders. They have a new technology called “The Gordion Stare” —what Medusa used to turn men into stone who saw her ugly face.
It means camera multiplexing to watch dozens of locations simultaneously using just one camera. The need first arose because prior to a JDAM striking a target observers could not keep track of “squirters” —people who scatter in all directions from a target.
They’ll use it to track many (law abiding) vehicles simultaneously.
But after 35 years as an ATC, I can't say I'm in favor of them, even though I have worked Global Hawk in civil airspace over Florida.
An Englishman’s adventure.
That would mean more illegals captured and the administration would rather let in more criminals.
And there is a good use for armed drones on our borders.
But the best use would be to have them programmed to fly along the length of the heavily-used invasion/smuggling routes, making videos of hosing the perps with minigun fire, and sending the videos to Mexican TV stations...
Maybe, after enough of those videos, the scum would finally get the message that our border is closed to them.
The borders being a war zone now, it’s appropriate.
Shoot them down!
Flying drones on our border does not threaten our liberty. Socialists, Islamists and a new proletariat getting in does.
No, but flying them over civilian population does. They're either used for spying or killing and I'm not in favor of either function.
I see yours basically as what I said ... law enforcement uses. Military uses are undeniable.
No private company should be allowed to have such surveillance over anything .. other than inside theirown buildings. No drones for that, CCTV.
How would you protect our borders and ensure that no one is bringing in nukes by ship?
And the libs were complaining about overseas phone calls and Pres. Bush.
I am sure the FAA is concerned also about how these things will integrate with VFR traffic. Will their use force ending VFR flights?
“But no civilian agency needs to fly drones anywhere.”
Drones are the best platform available to conduct repetitive tasks such as:
Searching for illegals along the border
Routine mapping exercises
No risk to crew, record the info on a ground based system and monitor the most important stuff in real time.
This makes eminent sense, or for Sonia Sotomayor, imminent sense.
Of these examples what can't normal human piloted fixed or rotary winged aircraft perform?
From Revelation 13:4 (New International Version)
Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?