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Friday, September 28, 2012

Senate Forms Unmanned Aerial Systems Caucus

U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) formed a unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) caucus, in hopes of educating lawmakers and staff about the capabilities of the systems.

The Senate Unmanned Aerial Caucus also hopes to help provide a foundation for the federal UAS policymaking process.

Over the last decade, the use of UASs has expanded from primarily being used for military intelligence to areas such as law enforcement, weather surveillance and aerial photography.

“The increased use of Unmanned Aerial Systems carries great potential – and great risk,” said Manchin. “It’s important for all of us to understand how we can use this advancing technology to strengthen ournational security and improve our ability to respond in case of natural or man-made disasters, while at the same time ensuring the privacy of all of our law-abiding American citizens. I am so appreciative of Senator Inhofe’s work on this issue, and I look forward to working together in a bipartisan way to keep our colleagues updated on the emerging policy issues involving this technology.”

Earlier this year, FAA established the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office in its safety organization to address all matters related to civil and public use of UAS, as the agency continues to integrate more unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system (NAS). Currently, FAA authorizes the limited use of UAS and is working on a proposed rule to govern the use of UAS in the NAS. 

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