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.
"There are a million reasons to pick the C-130J, as the Hercules continues to demonstrate the ability to fulfill any mission at any time. Not only is this milestone a testament to >[...]
Several years ago, ANN's first web-geek, Al Pike, designed a small "portable" News Ticker that offers current ANN headlines detailing what is happening in the aviation world. It ca>[...]
Aero Linx: Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) The Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes. It is the la>[...]
Direct Straight line flight between two navigational aids, fixes, points, or any combination thereof. When used by pilots in describing off-airway routes, points defining direct ro>[...]
Effort Will Mark First Time Army Has ECM Capability On Unmanned Aircraft Two electronic attack payloads in support of the U.S. Army's Networked Electronic Warfare, Remotely Operate>[...]