Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Feds Announce Drone Aircraft Testing Sites

Mike Miley

Alberto González - published on 12/30/13

Critics – liberals and conservatives alike – continue to cite concerns over the potential for drones to infringe on privacy rights.

Though drones have appeared in the news in recent years in the context of military strikes and their potential to be used to spy à la Big Brother, it appears more and more likely that this technology could one day become available for use in the private sector, including business, farming, and research.

The FAA announced on Monday that six new states – Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas, and Virginia – will host research sites for drone testing. This array of states promises to provide a variety of climatological, geographical, and air traffic environments for testing purposes.

Members of Congress lobbied heavily to bring the testing sites to their own states, recognizing the potential for strong economic booms. A study commissioned by drone industries concluded that over 70,000 new jobs would develop within three years of Congress’ lift on drone restrictions in U.S. airspace. The average salary for a drone pilot was estimated at being between $85-115,000. While private use of drones is still not permitted by the FAA, it is expected that a new set of guidelines will be released toward the latter part of 2015, thereby opening drones to commercial use.

Critics – liberals and conservatives alike – continue to cite concerns over the potential for drones to infringe on privacy rights. However, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta stated that test sites “must have a written plan for data use and retention, and will be required to conduct an annual review of privacy practices that involves public comment.”

The question here is whether privacy rights can be weighed against economic potential in such a way that society could benefit from both a proper protection of legitimate rights and a new development for the American economy – one that could put drone technology to more constructive use than air strikes on civilians. Only time will tell exactly how this technology continues will be put to use in the near future; the one thing that is certain is that it will take on a rather different nature than what we have seen thus far.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.