L.A. Surveillance Drones Grounded By FAA

Los Angeles county sheriffs were pretty eager to get their nifty SkySeer unmanned aerial vehicle into service keeping tabs on evildoers (see SkySeer UAV Drone Soars Over L.A.).

Apparently, they were so eager that they neglected to read the news - like the story Technovelgy published several months ago (UAVs Invade Public Airspace). The Gaston County Police Department in North Carolina had the same idea, with a similar technology. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association worked with the FAA to keep this potentially dangerous practice in check:

"Regional FAA officials contacted the sheriff's department, which agreed to voluntarily abide by the Model Aircraft Operating Standards, which specify that such craft must remain below 400 feet and stay out of pilots's navigable airspace."

According to the FAA, the watchdog agency won't allow the California drones to fly until it investigates the little demonstration organized by the sheriff's department last week.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown remarked "I wouldn't want to term us as peeved, but we were definitely surprised."

Read more about FAA grounds L.A. sheriff's drone plans.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/22/2006)

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