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Thread: FAA Moves Toward Creating 6 Drone Test Sites in US......

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    FAA Moves Toward Creating 6 Drone Test Sites in US......

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major step toward opening U.S. skies to thousands of unmanned drones, federal officials Thursday solicited proposals to create six drone test sites around the country.
    The Federal Aviation Administration also posted online a draft plan for protecting people's privacy from the eyes in the sky. The plan would require each test site to follow federal and state laws and make a privacy policy publicly available.



    The FAA is required by a law enacted a year ago to develop sites where civilian and military drones can be tested in preparation for integration into U.S. airspace that's currently limited to manned aircraft.
    The law also requires that the FAA allow drones wide access to U.S. airspace by 2015, but the agency is behind schedule, and it's doubtful it will meet the deadline, the Transportation Department's inspector general said in a report last year.

    The test sites are also expected to boost the local economy of the communities where they are located. About two dozen government-industry partnerships have been formed over the past year to compete for the sites.

    The FAA plans to begin integrating drones starting with small aircraft weighing less than about 55 pounds. The agency forecasts an estimated 10,000 civilian drones will be in use in the U.S. within five years.....snip~

    FAA moves toward creating 6 drone test sites in US - Yahoo! News
    Associated Press – 3 hrs ago Feb 15 2013<<<<< More here, way more.

    First there was a discussion on Drones being used to take out Americans overseas. Then due to all the coverage over the Issue, we had Diane Deinstein waste the Taxpayers money and time talking about creating a New Court System over the issue. While knowing that the idea was going absolutely nowhere with even the Senate alone.

    Now they are going to open up all of our Sky.....over the entire Nation for drones. If none were not worried about the Military. What are your thoughts about Police and LE's all across the country having such access? Now think about private industry and people having drones for their own purposes even for recreational use. Will this help to strip Americans of more of their Privacy?

    What about the technology? Meaning should any crash and others from Foreign countries being able to have access to the Technology?

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    Re: FAA Moves Toward Creating 6 Drone Test Sites in US......

    Wouldn't all of your objections to drones apply equally to manned aircraft? The military, police and private citizens can already fly planes and helicopters over private land and I don't believe there are any regulations around small remote-control vehicles flying at heights below regulated airspace. Why are drone aircraft automatically of any greater concern?

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    Re: FAA Moves Toward Creating 6 Drone Test Sites in US......

    Well there is this.....I thought this might catch some attention.

    The Customs and Border Patrol uses drones along the U.S.-Mexico border. And the FAA has granted several hundred permits to universities, police departments and other government agencies to use small, low-flying drones. For example, the sheriff's department in Montgomery County, Texas, has a 50-pound ShadowHawk helicopter drone intended to supplement its SWAT team.

    The sheriff's department hasn't armed its drone, although the ShadowHawk can be equipped with a 40 mm grenade launcher and a 12-guage shotgun. The prospect of armed drones patrolling U.S. skies has alarmed some lawmakers and their constituents. More than a dozen bills have been introduced in Congress and state legislatures to curb drone use and protect privacy.....snip~

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    Re: FAA Moves Toward Creating 6 Drone Test Sites in US......

    Quote Originally Posted by HonestJoe View Post
    Wouldn't all of your objections to drones apply equally to manned aircraft? The military, police and private citizens can already fly planes and helicopters over private land and I don't believe there are any regulations around small remote-control vehicles flying at heights below regulated airspace. Why are drone aircraft automatically of any greater concern?
    Everything in your post makes perfect sense. It still is something I think is a bad idea just because of its potential for abuse.

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    Re: FAA Moves Toward Creating 6 Drone Test Sites in US......

    I saw only one reference to the intended LE use, to supplement SWAT teams, which seems doubtful, at best. The real need, IMHO, is for LE provided credible witnesses to combat the "code of the hood" against "snitching". Fixed cameras in "the hood" would be quickly disabled yet these roving drone patrols could cover the gang turf and add that all important witness to these high crime (no witness) zones. While I see potential for abuse, I also see these tools as being effective for many crime fighting things that are now impossible without them.

    Potential civilian users are as varied as the drones themselves. Power companies want them to monitor transmission lines. Farmers want to fly them over fields to detect which crops need water. Ranchers want them to count cows. Film companies want to use drones to help make movies. Journalists are exploring drones' newsgathering potential.
    As a law abiding citizen, I see little down side (beyond cost), for allowing the LE community to use this technology. As long as they remain unarmed, I see no reason to fear their use.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: FAA Moves Toward Creating 6 Drone Test Sites in US......

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    Everything in your post makes perfect sense. It still is something I think is a bad idea just because of its potential for abuse.
    I'm sorry to be blunt but that's just irrational. All tools used by the military or police have the potential for misuse, some of them much more easily and significantly than drones and some, as you've just agreed, exactly the same potential. Do you think they should be banned from using guns, cars, the power of arrest or, of course, piloted aircraft. Obviously there needs to be proper laws and regulations, monitoring and control but that's no different to the use of any of these other things.

    This all boils down to the baggage attached to the word drone because of their (not unreasonably) controversial use in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is an entirely emotive response that links the big scary drone plane with guns and bombs that kills people with the small, remote-controlled helicopter with a camera that stops people getting killed.

    Of course, the general aggressive anti-police trend that seem to running through US society at the moment probably doesn't held. The could have a magic wand the ends all crime and someone would have something nasty to say about it.

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    Re: FAA Moves Toward Creating 6 Drone Test Sites in US......

    Quote Originally Posted by HonestJoe View Post
    I'm sorry to be blunt but that's just irrational. All tools used by the military or police have the potential for misuse, some of them much more easily and significantly than drones and some, as you've just agreed, exactly the same potential. Do you think they should be banned from using guns, cars, the power of arrest or, of course, piloted aircraft. Obviously there needs to be proper laws and regulations, monitoring and control but that's no different to the use of any of these other things.

    This all boils down to the baggage attached to the word drone because of their (not unreasonably) controversial use in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is an entirely emotive response that links the big scary drone plane with guns and bombs that kills people with the small, remote-controlled helicopter with a camera that stops people getting killed.

    Of course, the general aggressive anti-police trend that seem to running through US society at the moment probably doesn't held. The could have a magic wand the ends all crime and someone would have something nasty to say about it.
    Perhaps it is irrational, but I do not want the zoning drone hovering behind my house looking at all the things I have improperly stored like *gasp* a gas can left sitting outside.

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    Re: FAA Moves Toward Creating 6 Drone Test Sites in US......

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    Perhaps it is irrational, but I do not want the zoning drone hovering behind my house looking at all the things I have improperly stored like *gasp* a gas can left sitting outside.
    Yes, that's irrational. You're really not important enough for them to waste an expensive piece of equipment checking petty stuff like that, especially since there are plenty of much easier way they could achieve the same thing if they really wanted.

    Of course, if your irrational fear means you properly store your gas canisters in future, that's not an entirely bad thing.

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    Re: FAA Moves Toward Creating 6 Drone Test Sites in US......

    Quote Originally Posted by HonestJoe View Post
    Yes, that's irrational. You're really not important enough for them to waste an expensive piece of equipment checking petty stuff like that, especially since there are plenty of much easier way they could achieve the same thing if they really wanted.

    Of course, if your irrational fear means you properly store your gas canisters in future, that's not an entirely bad thing.
    no it is not irrational. my city has people whose job it is to drive around all day searching for any zoning violations that can be seen from the street. I see the zoning patrols far more often than I see the po po in my neighborhood.

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    Re: FAA Moves Toward Creating 6 Drone Test Sites in US......

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    no it is not irrational. my city has people whose job it is to drive around all day searching for any zoning violations that can be seen from the street. I see the zoning patrols far more often than I see the po po in my neighborhood.
    So your objection isn't about drones, it's about the principal of zoning patrols. If they did use drones to do that work, it's wouldn't be an abuse of drones that means nobody should be allowed to use them any more than how they currently do it is an abuse of cars meaning nobody should be allowed to use them. Of course they could already do exactly what you're concerned about using helicopters, which presumably you'd like banned too?

    My point stands - your objection to drones as an available tool in general is irrational. Your objection to specific actions or procedures may not be but that isn't exclusive to drone technology.

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