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FAA Working To Fill The Sky With Drones

February 18, 2013 by  

FAA Working To Fill The Sky With Drones
UPI FILE

Last week, President Barack Obama approved legislation that will likely rapidly increase the use of drones for surveillance in the United States.

The FAA Modernization Act of 2012, which contains provisions to modernize aviation laws and to immediately integrate unmanned aircraft systems, was signed into law by Obama Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration called on State and local governments as well as universities to compete to be the location of one of six unmanned aircraft test sites the agency will operate as mandated by the 2012 FAA Reauthorization Act. The agency says it will use the sites to better understand the dangers and benefits of domestic drones before they are fully introduced to the National Airspace System by 2015.

“We expect to learn how unmanned aircraft systems operate in different environments and how they will impact air traffic operations,” FAA Chief Michael Huerta said in a statement. “The test sites will inform the agency as we develop standards for certifying unmanned aircraft and determine necessary air traffic requirements.”

Part of the mission for the test sites is to develop a set of certification standards and air traffic requirements for drones and to designate airspace for the unmanned aerial vehicles.  According to some reports, government bodies in roughly two dozen States have expressed interest in becoming drone research locations.

The FAA has already authorized 106 Federal, State and local entities — including law enforcement agencies, regulators and universities — to operate domestic drones. Current requirements, however, limit the size of the aircraft and how far they are allowed to fly.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Doc Sarvis

    I wonder which states are anxious to get this government contract to test the drones? I do know that Red State North Dakota is one of them. At least that one Red State wants more of our tax dollars.

    • Gary L

      For some people it always comes down to red or blue.
      Since you brought it up, we all know how blue feels about our tax dollars.

      • Doc Sarvis

        Blue states contribute more tax dollars relative to what they get back while Red states use more tax dollars than they contribute

      • Gary L

        Doc, Blue states IMPOSE higher taxes on their citizens which means they TAKE their money. You can be sure that the BLUE citizens that make up the BLUE states are on the states teat for the very money that has been collected by the state.

      • eddie47d

        Gary; For every dollar California sends into DC they receive $.80 back. For every dollar Alaska sends in they receive $1.80 back. Red States receive huge agriculture subsidies and do receive more back overall.

      • WILDFIRE

        @eddie, that is because the Red States are typically more productive

      • WILDFIRE

        @eddie – furthermore – do you have article or your source of information of your 2 examples out of the 50 States (or 57 states if you are one of Obama’s sheep) I’d like to compare those States you offered to states such as Texas, NY, IL, MI and also look at what kind of federal monies these States are getting for their public education systems and medical facilities.

    • Vigilant

      Sarvis, attempting to make this a political football is ridiculous on the surface. State/local governments and universities will compete for DOLLARS, which is what the contract award is all about, and it has NOTHING to do with the political sentiments of a state.

      If you weren’t congenitally predisposed to politicize everything, you’d see as a rational person that it’s not who bids but who GETS the contracts. And that, my friend, is what gubment is all about.

      You know, like when Obama closed down GM dealerships owned by Republicans and left the Lib dealerships untouched.

      Using your own “logic,” entities that support the Administration would be more likely to receive those contracts than those who challenge it.

      • Right Brain Thinker

        WOW, VIgilant. I knew O’Bama his very own self personally went around the country and locked all those doors (and rattled them to make sure, just like I did at security check time in the schools, but I did NOT know that he only did that to Republicans. Please give us a link where we can check that out.

        “You know, like when Obama closed down GM dealerships owned by Republicans and left the Lib dealerships untouched”.

    • Mr Diesel

      Ohio is one of the states around the WPAFB/Dayton region.

  • GRAMPA

    We build them We know their weakness/ Are they not radio controlled? It may be encrypted but not UN-jammable !!! We then still have sharpshooters that can bring them down. They are also vulnerable on the ground.and sabotage. Look at it this way the government can have ten million drones, we have 370 million people working to defeat them. they would have better odds winning the lotto. The governments always think they know what is best for the people until we are forced to show them the error of their ways.
    God bless America
    Grampa

    • Right Brain Thinker

      We have 370 million “Drone Busters”, Grampa says?

      Grampa’s Drone buster army must include everyone above the age of five in the U.S., Canada, and most of Mexico. Those 6-year-olds and their slingshots will be really effective, I’m sure. And the sharpshooters? THEY are the ones that will face “lotto like odds” when they attempt to shoot down drones (assuming they’re even smart enough to ever figure out how to see one).

      And UN jammable? Sure, Grampa, just like every driver in America has a police radar jamming device, we’ll soon see the proliferation of drone jammers—-Chinese made and cheaper at Wal-mart. As if our military hasn’t known how to deal with jamming for decades. What I really want to see is the use of HARM drone “buddies” to accompany the surveillance drones. Worked in the past and it will be quite spectacular when they take care of Bubba and the Jammers (another good name for a band).

      And Charles D of the Facebook Fools adds that we not only have 370 million Drone Busters, but “there’s a rifle behind every blade of grass”. And it’s likely to be an assault rifle. So much for “common sense gun control”.

      Why must we always listen to mindless anger and idiotic chest beating on PLD? Why can’t the people who visit this site show more sense?

      • Rusty

        No one has all the answers to the current Police State & how far they will go against Americans, although the executive orders signed by the President in his first term should give us an indication that it will not be a good screnario for some individuals. It is a different country & mostly due to a large number of Americans not standing up for freedom & the Constitution, nor understanding the importance of those freedoms. Most folks are very content with watching their favorite entertainer, or sporting event, along obtaining their “news” through TV propaganda. We have a “dumb down” society that knows very little about what is going on in this country, nor do the care to know, or would believe you if they were told.

      • Jana

        I heard a man talking on the radio who works in this particular field. He was saying that they are getting these drones so small that they look like a bird and some can be as small as an insect. The technology is there, (for the insect) they are working on it now.
        So before you can shoot or even jam it you might have to recognize that its even there, and they might be very hard to spot.

    • Mr Diesel

      Not that many people that can even shoot let alone shoot well enough to hit one sitting still a few hundred yards away. Operating at 10,000 feet you won’t hardly see a small one and you won’t be jamming it either unless you plan on setting off a small nuclear device when it flies over and even then it might now affect it.

      • Right Brain Thinker

        I ask for folks on PLD to show some “sense” and Both Rusty and Mr Diesel step up and do so. Thank you, gentlemen. Rusty gets perhaps a little carried away with the “executive order” boogeyman but otherwise makes sense. Mr. D does recognize the “lotto like odds” of what loony-tunes Grampa suggested. I used to be able to hit a head-sized target every time from the the prone position at 200-300 yards, thanks to some good USMC rifle instruction. I would not bet a dime against $100,000 that I could hit a moving drone with a rifle—-dimes are getting to be important to my budget any more and I can’t afford to throw them away—-certainly not in the numbers I would have to in order to come close to winning the bet—-what’s the point of spending $99,999,90 to win $.10? (and who would pay for the ammunition?)

  • Vigilant

    “We expect to learn how unmanned aircraft systems operate in different environments and how they will impact air traffic operations…”

    Government is well known for furnishing bogus reasons for initiating programs, and this would seem to be no exception. The “impact [on] air traffic operations” is best done by computer simulation, NOT putting drones in the air.

    I’m happy my traveling days are over. Air traffic controllers will now be responsible for additional objects in an already cramped air space above the USA. Won’t be long before the first mid air collision is reported.

    FAA would better spend its dough on modernizing an ATC system that is so old that it uses equipment currently on display in a German museum as outdated.

    • eddie47d

      You know who’s buying drones? Land developers,real estate companies,oil companies and such. You know.. America’s businesses. They can take pictures of the land they want to develop (surveying technology)or take aerial photos of homes they will be putting on the market. New FAA rules are a must with this increased usage. Some are no bigger than a large model airplane or can be several feet long.

      • Jana

        Eddie47d
        Yes, and with newer technology they will be making them the size of a bird or an insect. Sure the government would have you believe that businesses need these drones. I have an Eiffel Tower that’s for sale and its a real money maker and its really cheap too.
        GULLIBLE doesn’t look good on anyone.

  • wheels

    It is only the beginning of nobama’s private cop corps. Next will be his version of Hitler’s Brown Shirts running up and down our highways and streets and kicking down our doors.

  • http://gravatar.com/bychoosing WTS/JAY

    One of the most hilarious aspects of the debate that’s tearing the Left apart like a spin cycle with candy underwear is the subterranean war (completely ignored by the MSM) that’s brewing between so-called liberals and the (real kind), is the same anti-NRA people who happen to be the very same ones who have no problem with unmanned drones that carry multiple warheads killing innocents abroad. How one person can square two diametrically opposing sides of what should be a black and white debate about the sanctity of all human life, is a conundrum into which no rational-thinking person should try to delve for too long. The corporately-owned MSM, of course, as effectively and as invariably as it had in the age of SCUD missiles and Stinger missiles before that and napalm before that and the Bomb before that, have been championing the use of unmanned drones almost as if they have a financial stake in the matter (Oops, looks as if part of it does): http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/ge_olympic_truce/

  • jopa

    Well now that the sky is going to be filled with drones there will be no room for the black helicopters.There goes American Airlines stock, now we have to invest in Am Track.

  • WILDFIRE

    Right Brain Thinker says:
    February 18, 2013 at 10:54 am

    I ask for folks on PLD to show some “sense” and Both Rusty and Mr Diesel step up and do so. Thank you, gentlemen. Rusty gets perhaps a little carried away with the “executive order” boogeyman but otherwise makes sense. Mr. D does recognize the “lotto like odds” of what loony-tunes Grampa suggested. I used to be able to hit a head-sized target every time from the the prone position at 200-300 yards, thanks to some good USMC rifle instruction. I would not bet a dime against $100,000 that I could hit a moving drone with a rifle—-dimes are getting to be important to my budget any more and I can’t afford to throw them away—-certainly not in the numbers I would have to in order to come close to winning the bet—-what’s the point of spending $99,999,90 to win $.10? (and who would pay for the ammunition?)

    Before you call “Executive Order boogeyman” – perhaps you should educate yourself on them and read and more importantly comprehend what they mean and what they authorize, of course with no recourse against the ones who authorized them.

    http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/2012.html#13632

    Do a little research on what exactly some of these EO authorize.

    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 ( 27 F.R. 1527 ) allows Secretary of Transportation to take over ALL modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports. It also gives the Secretary of Commerce full control of the production and distribution of ALL construction materials, gas, oil, and power as well as ALL civilian, private aviation facilities, highways and seaports.
    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 ( 27 F.R. 1519 ) allows the government to seize and control the communication media. It establishes the Telecommunications Management Agency that provides for the “takeover” of ALL communications media in the United States. This includes broadcast and cable television, ALL radio stations, ALL satellite earth stations and satellites and ALL telephone companies and telephone systems in the United States.
    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 ( 27 F.R. 1522 ) allows the government to take over ALL electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.
    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 ( 27 F.R. 1524 ) allows the Secretary of Agriculture to take over ALL food resources and farms and farm equipment. This means that all privately owned farmland and food resources will be commandeered by the Federal Government, together with all farm implements and equipment used to work this land. ALL will become the property of the Federal Government.
    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 ( 27 F.R. 1532 ) allows the Secretary of Labor to “mobilize” civilians into work brigades under government supervision. That’s right, every working American will be under the direct supervision of the Federal Government.
    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 ( 27 F.R. 1534 ) allows the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare to control ALL health services, doctors, hospitals, etc., ALL welfare services and All educational programs and facilities, public and private.
    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 ( 27 F.R. 1539 ) designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of ALL persons in the United States.
    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 ( 27 F.R. 1540 ) empowers the Federal Aviation Administration to take over ALL airports and commandeer ALL aircraft, including commercial aircraft.
    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 ( 27 F.R. 1542 ) establishes the authority for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to take control of ALL housing, lodging and community facilities in the United States.
    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 ( 27 F.R. 1544 ) empowers the Interstate Commerce Commission to take over ALL railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.
    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 ( 27 F.R. 1688 ) specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international or domestic tensions and economic or financial crisis.
    *EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 ( 32 F.R. 12877 ) directs the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in All Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate ALL penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.

    • Right Brain Thinker

      Wildfire says I should “educate myself” before I talk about the “executive order boogeyman” that the wing nuts of the right just can’t stop throwing up there in their fear mongering. I HAVE researched executive orders and their use extensively, WildFire, evidently far more than you have.

      For instance, I do know that the horsepucky that circulated for so long in the circular firing squad of the wing nut right about the 930 (NINE HUNDRED THIRTY) EO’s that O’Bama supposedly issued was a total lie, since O’Bama has issued among the smallest number of EO’s of any modern president. I know that EO’s have been numbered consecutively except for the earliest ones and that the ones you listed here were all issued by JFK and LBJ, 35-40+ years ago, and many if not all have been subsequently rescinded, modified, or reinforced by later EO’s by later presidents. I do know that I have seen this exact listing before, and that it badly misinterprets what the EO’s said. That’s because it came from a source on the wingnut right. It is dishonest of you to show a link to the archives when that’s NOT where you got this list of boogey-man, fear-mongering, paranoia. And, having read a few EO’s in their entirety, I seriously doubt that you have read the ones you cite here—-it’s tough and tedious work. It’s obvious from the capitalizations in your list that what we see is interpretation rather than straight reporting.

      Most of the talk we see about EO’s, especially on PLD, is exactly that—-boogeyman talk. Perhaps YOU should get better educated on the topic yourself—-you might then be able to speak with more authority when you talk to those who know more than you do on the topic.

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