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Congress Passes Bill That Opens US Skies To Unmanned Drones

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posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 10:36 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to speed the nation's switch from radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology, and to open U.S. skies to unmanned drone flights within four years, received final congressional approval Monday

The bill authorizes $63.4 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration over four years, including about $11 billion toward the air traffic system and its modernization. It accelerates the modernization program by setting a deadline of June 2015 for the FAA to develop new arrival procedures at the nation's 35 busiest airports so planes can land using the more-precise GPS navigation.

The FAA is also required under the bill to provide military, commercial and privately-owned drones with expanded access to U.S. airspace currently reserved for manned aircraft by Sept. 30, 2015. That means permitting unmanned drones controlled by remote operators on the ground to fly in the same airspace as airliners, cargo planes, business jets and private aircraft.

Currently, the FAA restricts drone use primarily to segregated blocks of military airspace, border patrols and about 300 public agencies and their private partners. Those public agencies are mainly restricted to flying small unmanned aircraft at low altitudes away from airports and urban centers.

Within nine months of the bill's passage, the FAA is required to submit a plan on how to safely provide drones with expanded access.

Another 3 years and the drones will be common sight across the US? Not really sure how this can be justified. Is the American public really gonna allow the government to implement something like this? Its bad enough that they are blowing up 'SUSPECTS' in other countries, but in another 3 years they will be able to do it in the US as well.

Really don't know how they can justify this as necessary?

posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 10:41 AM
What's stopping them now? In my time in NYC, I've spotted two predator drones over Manhattan. Saw many more back in CO. Though I attributed many of those to test flights out of the AFA. Does this just mean that by 2015 the air will be infested by these little buggers?

posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 11:06 AM
Skynet is a good thing. Pretty soon police will be placed with robots.

posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 11:07 AM
Aside from the infuriating privacy issues, what really pisses me off is the FAA's requirement to provide COMMERCIAL and PRIVATELY-OWNED drones expanded access to U.S airspace. What's THAT all about?! To what end?

posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 11:08 AM
reply to post by satoriku

Well, The Pepsi CO army wants to spy on us too.

posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 01:38 PM
reminds me of the drones in fallout3 I like to shoot down.

Yet another desensitization to a totalitarianism police state. I see people flying these things like in a video game, removed from the situation....or the guilt of the way the situation is handled....

posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 01:57 PM
reply to post by satoriku

thats what i cant understand. what the hell is the requirement for this?

are they expecting total anarchy in the future and they will just send out drones to hit the areas of cities where people are rioting / breaking law.

really is hard to fathom. you could let it slide if this was a movie or something but this is about to become reality.

posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 03:28 PM
some more thoughts on how the drones might be used.

First, there’s the issue of privacy. Rigging a cheap drone with a video camera was no problem for an Occupy protestor; how hard would it be for someone with deeper pockets to finance a drone with even more powerful surveillance equipment to monitor, well, who knows what? How will we know what purposes any private citizen has for deploying a drone overhead?

Then there are the corporations. Forbes points out that companies like Google could ditch their Street View cars and start deploying advanced, autonomous drones to roam the country for incredibly thorough mapping. If the idea of fleets of corporate-owned drones monitoring us from above doesn’t scare you, then you are a much less paranoid person than I.

Safety is the other unmanned albatross in the room. According to the Associated Press, “Within nine months of the bill’s passage, the FAA is required to submit a plan on how to safely provide drones with expanded access.”

so when they are not being used to take out homegrown terrorists they can be used for the wonderful purposes mentioned above.

why wouldn't you let them have free reign in the skies above you?

edit on 8-2-2012 by lacrimaererum because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 03:40 PM
reply to post by lacrimaererum

Yeah, I don't like the idea of drones flying around US airspace. The upside I suppose is Google usage of a drone, but then again, there goes a little more privacy. And speaking of privacy the US Gov't and private sectors will be overjoyed over the prospect of spying on anyone, anywhere, anytime! This will happen, and I find it ironic that Senator Jay Rockefeller is praising this new bill

America is screwed

posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 09:51 AM
what pisses me off is these dick bags want to ban civilian radio controlled planes as a result of this police state bs.

posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 09:59 AM
They are allready flying drones to spy on people, purely survailience, used mostly by ther DEA to find pot growers. The new bill is for armed drones. False flag anyone?

posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 09:38 PM
Serves no purpose but keeps the latest dead technology alive forever.
Who is funding this Congress or the tax payer.
More security side kicks without a cause is the best we can expect
until final judgement.

posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 09:48 PM
So now in addition to nuclear weapons threatening my life every single day, I have to worry about our own government putting armed drones with cameras flying around too?

Can you imagine the two words I am thinking right about now? Yeah, they start with


edit on Fri Feb 10th 2012 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)

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