FAA announces that it will not test drones in Oklahoma
LAS VEGAS – Some Oklahomans became concerned after learning that the Sooner State could be a testing ground for drone technology.
On Monday, the FAA announced the official testing sites.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced that Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia will be home to the research sites.
Organizers say the drones could be used by farmers to locate livestock and learn more about natural disasters.
However, not everyone was happy about the possibility of Oklahoma becoming a testing site.
Ryan Kiesel, executive director of ACLU Oklahoma, said, “We’re very close to a point where the government could have constant surveillance and tracking of an individual’s movement without ever having any suspicion of a crime being committed.”
Rep. Paul Wesselhoft is seeking a measure that would limit the use of drones to survey citizens while also preventing weapon use.
He held the bill following a request by Gov. Mary Fallin so that it would not interfere with Oklahoma being selected as a test site.
Now, he says that he is disappointed in the FAA’s decision to not include Oklahoma as a testing site.
“It is unfortunate and disappointing that Oklahoma was not selected as a testing site for these UAVs,” said Wesselhöft. “Oklahoma is a pioneer state in aviation technology, beginning with Wiley Post and continuing today with numerous startup companies that are developing drone technology. In fact, Oklahoma State University has a degree program pending that would allow students to focus their studies on UAV development.”
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