Sun, May 21, 2006
Government Awaits Crash Investigation
In the wake of an
unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crash last month, Congress has taken
action on the program's future by tightening at least some of its
purse strings. The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday
passed a homeland security funding bill that would withhold $6.8
million in UAV funds until U.S. Customs and Border Protection
reports on the findings of the crash investigation.
"While the federal government definitely sees UAVs in the future
as part of its overall homeland security and border patrol plan,
this sends a clear signal that there are safety concerns," said
Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs
(pictured below during a 2005 ANN Aero-Cast).
"AOPA members want UAVs to be certified just like manned
aircraft, and the simple answer of restricting the airspace through
TFRs [temporary flight restrictions] is not acceptable."
But the recent bill would only affect funding for fiscal year
2007, which begins next October 1. Because the UAV program has
funding from the 2006 budget, UAV operations could resume before
AOPA, meanwhile, has been alerting Congress to the dangers UAVs
pose to civilian aircraft. In March Cebula testified before the
House aviation subcommittee, asking that UAVs be certified to the
same requirements as civilian aircraft, including the ability to
safely detect and avoid other aircraft.
Echoing these concerns, Rep. Marion Berry (D-Ark.) in April used
up his allotted time during a homeland security subcommittee (of
the House Appropriations Committee) hearing to make sure government
officials were responding to general aviation issues.
Numerous Flights Cancelled Saturday Britain's Air Traffic Control system suffered what was described as a "technical problem" Saturday resulting in widespread cancellations of flig>[...]
Also: Bell 47 Update, USSC Aero-Legal Decision Coming, Evergreen Kaput, Blue Angels Full Sked The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team is on the airshow circuit again. Ev>[...]
Designed To Pull Spacecraft Away From A Failing Booster In Launch Emergency Scenario NASA engineers and contractors have successfully completed the Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) >[...]
The Aero Experience A blog focusing on GA and sport aviation in the midwest.>[...]
The runway length declared available and suitable for the ground run of an airplane taking off.>[...]