Domestic drone use under scrutiny
August 6, 2013
California lawmakers are taking a close look at establishment of testing sites for domestically-deployed unmanned aircraft — drones — with the notion of reviving the state’s declining aerospace industry. (Sacramento Bee)
The use of such technology for domestic purposes is being probed today by the Assembly Public Safety Committee to hear concerns about constitutional consequences as well as commentary on how drones could be utilized for useful and lawful purposes..
Sen. Alex Padilla , D-Los Angeles, is sponsoring a bill that would specify when the use of drones would require a court-issued warrant, and what information so gathered would be public.
Federal officials have estimated that more than 30,000 of the pilot-less planes could be in the air over America by 2020.
“We’re not darkening the sky yet, but we’re poised,” Richard Christiansen, vice president of aerospace engineering firm Sierra Lobo Inc., told reporters in May.
Proponents claim that more than $82 billion will be spent on the technology during the next five years, and they want in on the largesse. Proponents also perceive drone uses for assessing and selling real estate, assisting news organizations in gathering information, and patrolling oil pipelines and other sensitive facilities.