This summer, firefighters in California were about to drop fire retardant from low-flying aircraft on a fire burning thousands of acres of wildlands in the San Bernardino Mountains when they saw a small drone flying between two of the planes. Because of this, officials had to ground their aircrafts.
As unmanned aerial vehicle usage becomes more prevalent within society, governments, the commercial sector and the public will have to take a hard look at a host of changing and evolving implications it has on privacy, property rights and other issues, a New America report says.
The extension of the memorandum of cooperation that was first signed in March 2011 would expand collaboration on implementing Next Generation Air Transportation System activities and the Single European Sky ATM Research.
While the Government Accountability Office report did not make any recommendations to relevant U.S. agencies, it pointed out concerns among stakeholders about prescriptive standards versus a performance-based approach.
Additionaly, the cable news organization CNN will look at how drones can be used for newsgathering in urban areas within visual line-of-sight operations.
Federal aviation regulators said a new highly advanced computer system that will enable air traffic controllers to more safely and effectively manage high-altitude flights was recently completed.
The ACLU has called for rules that limit law enforcement agencies' use of drones when collecting evidence of wrongdoing, for emergencies or other uses where there's no reason to think it would invade privacy.
"The status quo of unstable, unpredictable funding for the National Airspace System has led to serious problems at the FAA," said National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi.
As the Federal Aviation Administration shifts to a more advanced and networked Internet-technology based air-traffic control system, it needs to develop a comprehensive threat model to better protect computer networks against cyber threats.
The Federal Aviation Administration hasn't done enough to protect its air traffic control system from cyber attacks, says a recently released Government Accountability Office report. "Significant security control weaknesses remain, threatening the agency's ability to ensure the safe and uninterrupted operation of the national airspace system," the GAO says in the report.