FAA: 30,000 Drones To Fill American Skies By The End Of The Decade

Posted: May 31, 2012 in Big Brother

Robert Johnson|February 08, 2012

Congress passed a  bill this week paving the way for unmanned drones to ply American skies.

The bill requires the FAA to rush a plan to get as many drones in the air as  possible within nine months.

How many drones are we talking?

Shaun  Waterman at The Washington Times reports the agency predicts that 30,000  drones could fill U.S. skies by the end of the decade.

Naturally, many are concerned that surveillance by police and federal  government agencies will skyrocket in response.

From The  Washington Times:

“There are serious policy questions on the  horizon about privacy and surveillance, by both government agencies and  commercial entities,” said Steven Aftergood, who heads the Project on Government  Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists…

The bill calls for numerous test ranges to be  operated in conjunction with NASA  and the Department of Defense, use of drones in the Arctic, guidance system  improvements, and an assessment of the “catastrophic failure of the  unmanned aircraft that would endanger other aircraft in the national airspace  system.”

This new bill follows up the Army’s January directive to use  drone fleets in the U.S. for training missions and “domestic  operations.”

And both of these initiatives are mandated in the NDAA  (section 1097) that calls for six drone test ranges to be operational within six  months of that bills signing December 31.

The commercial drone market would be worth hundreds of millions  more if the bill passes.

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-02-08/news/31036604_1_drones-unmanned-aircraft-new-bill

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