Sunday, July 29, 2012

Virginia Preparing Six Drone Bases?

According to the Department of Defense Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability (April 2012), Virginia has six (6) locations that have been designated as potential basing locations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) [i.e. drones] (p. 8 ff.).

The table below gives information on the types of drones that are proposed for basing at each location.

BASE Predator/Reaper type Shadow/Raven type Other
Fort Story RQ-11B Wasp, Puma, Scan Eagle
Fort Eustis RQ-11B
NALF Fentress RQ-11B Wasp, Puma, S-100
MCB Quantico RQ-11B, RQ-21A Wasp
Fort Pickett RQ-11B, RQ-7B Viking
Fort AP Hill RQ-11B, RQ-7B

It is disclosed that the RQ-7B Shadow is operated from Fort A.P. Hill, under the status "Locations Requiring COAs [Certificate of Waiver or Authorization]". ("Locations where the Army currently conducts operations outside of Restricted Areas that require a COA from the FAA. In the majority of these locations, the purpose of the COA is to transition from the launch site to adjacent Restricted Areas. Additionally, the Raven can be operated using DoD-FAA agreed-to Class G airspace notification procedures for flights flown over Government-owned or -leased land." (p. 20))

How do people in Virginia feel about sharing their airspace with drones?

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