Obama leaves Gridiron as some guy yells about drones - @ryanjreilly
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a commercial pilot’s report that he spotted a small unmanned aircraft at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“Drone aircraft, best known for their role in hunting and destroying terrorist hide-outs in Afghanistan, may soon be coming to the skies near you.
Police agencies want drones for air support to spot runaway criminals. Utility companies believe they can help monitor oil, gas and water pipelines. Farmers think drones could aid in spraying their crops with pesticides.
“It’s going to happen,” said Dan Elwell, vice president of civil aviation at the Aerospace Industries Assn. “Now it’s about figuring out how to safely assimilate the technology into national airspace.”
That’s the job of the Federal Aviation Administration, which plans to propose new rules for the use of small drones in January, a first step toward integrating robotic aircraft into the nation’s skyways.
The agency has issued 266 active testing permits for civilian drone applications but hasn’t permitted drones in national airspace on a wide scale out of concern that the pilotless craft don’t have an adequate “detect, sense and avoid” technology to prevent midair collisions.
Other concerns include privacy — imagine a camera-equipped drone buzzing above your backyard pool party — and the creative ways in which criminals and terrorists might use the machines.”
While the United States might be at war in Afghanistan, many of the people we are trying to fight seem to be taking refuge in Pakistan. While the government won’t acknowledge it, there is a massive operation using unmanned aircraft to hunt and kill militants in Pakistan. The New America Foundation has been tracking these operations since 2004, and their numbers show that as the war in Afghanistan winds down, our attacks in Pakistan are increasing. (Good)