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U.S. Senator Calls For Geo-Fencing To Keep Drones Away From High Value Targets

Image of a drone or unmanned aircraft Most people like to travel. That includes airplane trips for business or for pleasure. And, everyone wants to travel safely. Newsday reported:

"The FAA reported 52 instances of pilots spotting drones in June and July 2014, but the rate of such sightings has risen to 275 in June and July 2015, the senator said. Schumer said he fears a drone may eventually be sucked into the engine of a plane or otherwise collide with aircraft."

This blog reported in August about two near misses in New York. For safety, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat-New York) proposed an amendment to Federal Aviation Administration Re-authorization bill to require all remote-controlled aircraft sold in the United States to have tracking mechanisms installed. The mechanisms would use geo-fencing technology to keep drones away from high-value targets, such as airports, major parades, the Pentagon, major sporting events, and sports stadiums.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for maintaining the safety of our skies in the United States. The incident highlights the need for continued and stronger enforcement of aviation safety laws by drone operators:

"Unmanned aircraft systems are neither supposed to fly within five miles of an airport without notifying the airport operator and control tower nor are they supposed to go above 400 feet."

There will likely be a fight in Washington about the FAA Re-authorization bill. General Aviation News reported in July 2015:

"The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has delayed plans to release its proposed FAA reauthorization legislation. That occurred after the House majority leader informed the committee that consideration of the FAA reauthorization bill has been moved to September. The current FAA authorization expires Sept. 30. It was put into place after an agonizing 23 short-term extensions that stretched from September 2007 to February 2012. While some lawmakers had promised that wouldn’t happen with this reauthorization, a short-term extension of the authorization may be needed while lawmakers pound out the final bill."

About his bill amendment, the Senator said in a statement:

"There needs to be a clear strategy to address the public safety dilemma of reckless drone use because a future drone crash could spell real trouble. That’s why I am unveiling brand new federal language in Congress that would virtually eliminate any chance of drones crashing into planes and causing serious danger... If geo-fencing technology were mandated in every drone sold in America, it would go a long way toward preventing the kinds of near-misses that have occurred over the past few months, and still allow hobbyists to fly drones in safe places.”

I agree. What are your opinions?

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