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‘Drone battles over America possible in future’

Last Updated: Friday, April 19, 2013 - 16:42

Washington: A US lawmaker has warned that as the global drone boom unfolds in the next few years America could eventually see science-fiction style warfare in skies.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, during a Senate subcommittee hearing on the Federal Aviation Administration’s fiscal 2014 budget, said that he could envision drone fights in the air, drones cracking into each other.

According to the Washington Times, although Feinstein is not the only one with such concerns, FAA officials have on several occasions reassured the public that it would be illegal to operate an armed drone in U.S. airspace.

It is illegal for civilians to arm the helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft they own or operate, though every military in the world already does this.

But with technology racing ahead, Feinstein said he feared drone pilots could disregard the law and use the crafts to deliver weapons — and that the federal government will be ill-equipped to stop them.

FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta told the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on transportation Thursday that the public has yet to fully grasp what drones are capable of, or the unique challenges they pose for federal regulators and lawmakers, the report said.

According to the report, Huerta also admitted that the FAA itself is still learning about drones.


First Published: Friday, April 19, 2013 - 16:42

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