Photo: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Brian Smith and U.S. Army Sgt. Jared Adkins, left, both with the 3rd Platoon, Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), scan a distant ridgeline during a patrol in Paktya province, Afghanistan (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alex Kirk Amen)
President Barack Obama holds a meeting in the Situation Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
In the very near future it is likely that unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones, will be a permanent fixture above our heads. But before drones fill the skies of America, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented a plan to integrate drones into the domestic airspace. The plan includes establishing six different test sites around the country to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace (NAS). The FAA has requested comment from organizations and individuals about this planned integration and this week the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) issued a report on their recommendations.
The report makes five recommendations to the FAA which include clarifying the roles of NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD) in the integration process; mandating compliance by drone operators with Fair Information Practices (FIP); creating a public database of all drone operators that is easily accessible like the manned aircraft database; requiring that drone operators disclose the capabilities of the data collection and surveillance that their drones are equipped with; and establishing a process for an independent auditing of drone operators.
Photo: Drone by joss_w.