There are more drones than ever in the skies over America these days and the rules and regulations as to how to register and fly them are spotty to say the least. Incidents where drones have encroached on airport space have been frequent and could have potentially deadly consequences. The FAA has promised to have new regulations in place by Christmas of this year, but there is one big problem with that; if terrorists decide to use drones to launch an attack, they are probably not going to take the time to register their drones and then fly them according to the rules. It is a potential problem that has both the Pentagon and local police forces everywhere very worried.
The Pentagon, in an ironic twist since they are formally the world’s largest users of drones, wants to put strict regulations in place on both drone purchasing and use. As a matter of fact, the Pentagon Building and the area surrounding it are now strict no drone fly zones. This new policy highlights the fact that these tiny airborne machines have as much potential to do harm as they have to do good.
The entire National Capital Region is a drone no fly zone but that does not always mean a lot to drone enthusiasts when penalties are hard to enforce and very vague to say the least. Just last October, a drone landed on the White House lawn at 1:30 am in the morning. A man claimed he had lost control of the drone and it inadvertently landed there; he was subsequently fined $85. That seems like a pretty small penalty for someone flying a drone in a drone restricted area, flying a drone at night which is prohibited and having their drone land on the front lawn of the President of the United States. Terrorists must be greatly inspired when hearing stories such as this.
A small drone has the potential to bring down a big jetliner if it comes into contact with them and that is why they are strictly prohibited to be flown over 400 feet above ground and within 5 miles of any airport. Despite that fact, pilots reported almost 600 drone sightings near airports in the last 6 months of 2015. One single drone sighting near an airport should be enough to get these taken off the shelves and unavailable for use to the general public; I find it amazing that nearly 100 drone sightings a month near airports has not raised more alarms and more questions concerning the use of drones across the country.
Drone advocates say they can be used for such things as low cost and environmentally friendly package delivery but more often than not you hear reports of them being used for such things as illegal surveillance and intruding upon a neighbor’s privacy. It’s a big problem that only gets magnified if you look at the potential for drones to be used as a terrorist weapon.
If people want to fly drones, that is fine and it’s their right – but it’s not their right to fly drones over their neighbor’s houses and in restricted airspace. Have drone flying parks set up and make the rules for ownership as strict as those for buying guns because, if we don’t, there will be a major incident with an aircraft or a terrorist incident done using drones in the very near future.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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