The FAA should allow non-military drones access to fly in rural areas now, rather than wait for the agency to complete its broader integration into civil airspace following the rulemaking process, according to the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). Drones are too valuable to be kept on the ground and the agency is moving too slowly in creating applicable safety regulations, said AUVSI president Michael Toscano.
Unmanned aerial vehicle
Having already supplied pricing, availability and technical data, Northrop Grumman is hopeful that in the coming weeks the Republic of Korea will sign a letter of acceptance concerning the acquisition of four RQ-4B Global Hawk HALE UAVs, paving the way for a formal request for proposal and contract signature. The potential sale was notified to U.S. Congress in December 2012, and is being conducted via government-to-government channels, with the U.S.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has chosen the Singapore Airshow to reveal its latest UAV. The new Super Heron HF is a major update of the Heron 1 that has become a popular choice for medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned missions.
Even though the FAA is providing funding for several airlines to purchase ADS-B equipment, the agency likely will not be able to mandate ADS-B in technology by 2020, as it is required to do by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Transportation Department inspector general Calvin Scovel III told Congress yesterday.
The FAA kept its oft-repeated promise to designate six unmanned aircraft system (UAS) test sites by the end of last year. On December 30, the agency announced that it had selected universities and other public entities in Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia to operate test sites at their own expense, fulfilling a requirement of Congress in the 2012 FAA reauthorization act.
The military dominance the U.S. has maintained since the end of the Cold War is declining as more opponents become capable of employing guided weapons and low-cost unmanned systems, say the authors of a new paper issued by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in January.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) recently reported on a second flying demonstration of an MQ-9 Reaper in the electronic warfare (EW) role. The UAV flew with the Northrop Grumman Pandora EW system inside special pods designed by GA-ASI. The combination flew from MCAS Yuma, Ariz., last April and again in October during a Marine Corps exercise.
A first step in developing guidelines to safely integrate UAVs into U.S. civil airspace could come from efforts the FAA recently initiated with the Academy of Model Aeronautics. The organizations signed an agreement on January 12 to ensure continued safe operation of model aircraft that comply with a Congressional directive requiring an organization other than the FAA to help regulate model aircraft flying activities.
The U.S. lags other countries in allowing commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), delaying a substantial economic opportunity, witnesses told a Senate hearing on January 15. Some senators questioned the reasons behind the delay; others expressed concern over privacy rights at the hearing, which was held to consider both safety and privacy issues.
The UK Royal Navy (RN) deployed its first maritime UAS this week, when an Insitu Scan Eagle system was added to RFA Cardigan Bay, which is supporting the EU anti-piracy patrols off Somalia.