FAA Approves Six States To Test Drones

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Federal Aviation Administration says six states will be allowed to develop test sites for drones, as it seeks to safely introduce commercial drones into U.S. airspace.

Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Virginia and Texas will host the research sites.

This is seen as a critical step toward what analysts think will be a huge industry that could create thousands of jobs.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with John Valasek, a professor of aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University, about the potential for unmanned aircrafts.

Valasek’s team is developing drones for humanitarian relief, crop dusting, infrastructure assessment and environmental monitoring.

Drones have raised issues of privacy, and they have had trouble shaking off their association with military drones. But Valasek is optimistic about the future commercial domestic use of drones.

“I think the drones are going to be here to stay, but I also believe that they need to be introduced carefully and sequentially, along with proper regulations in their use and operations,” Valasek said. “And once this is done  – and it’s being worked on right now — they’ll find their proper use and fit in nicely with manned aircrafts, with civilian applications, with all of our daily lives.”


  • John Valasek, professor of aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University.
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Source: NPR


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Comments [2]

Back Country Voices from Julian, CA

The California Bill, CA SB15 | 2013-2014, was introduced to address safety and privacy concerns but legislature adjourned without any further action.

We acknowledge drones have many useful purposes, but the FAA and legislature neglected to implement the necessary safety and privacy regulations that govern the way surveillance is used. There is still a lot of work to be done and we will do our level best to see that our civil liberties are protected. - Back Country Voices | Citizen’s Action Group

Dec. 31 2013 06:43 PM
Back Country Voices from Julian, CA

The introduction of Unmanned Aircraft Systems by the FAA into the National Airspace creates unavoidable privacy concerns which the FAA is required to address. We understand the FAA has considered the privacy problems and violations that have been raised by the UAS test site selection process. However, as one of the possible tests sites, the FAA and Congress failed to address and pass the numerous bills proposed on privacy concerns. The 'Back Country Voices' citizens of San Diego County firmly objected to the FAA’s consideration of Southern California being a testing site for UAS for that reason.'Back Country Voices - Citizens Action Group

Dec. 31 2013 06:41 PM

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