The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Homeland Security Drone Assessment and Analysis Act, which would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to research how small- and medium-size unmanned aircraft could be used in an attack and how to prevent or mitigate the effects of an attack.
The legislation, H.R.1646, was introduced by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.-12, ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee's Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee. The legislation passed by voice vote.
“I introduced this bill with the understanding that drone technology holds great promise that has yet to be fully realized,” says Rep. Watson Coleman. “Truly harnessing these devices’ potential requires us to mitigate the risks associated with them. The Homeland Security Drone Assessment and Analysis Act does that – enhancing national security and clarifying the framework for drone manufacturers and enthusiasts alike.
“The end result will be policies that allow us to build and use drones in a lawful and safe manner. I am pleased that the House has passed this critical and timely piece of legislation,” she explains.
The act requires the Department of Homeland Security to do the following:
- Research how commercially available small- and medium-size drones could be used to perpetrate an attack;
- Take the lead as the Federal department responsible for developing policies, guidance and protocols to prevent an attack perpetrated with a small- or medium-size drone;
- Disseminate information to state, local and tribal law enforcement officials regarding how to respond to potential threats from these drones; and
- Conduct an assessment of the security threat associated with the commercial availability of drones.
The full bill text can be found here.