Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., has sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to inquire about what steps the agency is taking to prevent hobbyist drones from colliding with aircraft near Massachusetts airfields.
In the letter, Senator Markey asks the FAA the following questions:
- In 2014, 2015 and so far in 2016, how many drones have been spotted within five miles of a Massachusetts airport, and how did the FAA respond?
- How does the FAA collaborate with state and local law enforcement to respond to drone sightings near airports?
- How does the FAA encourage drone manufacturers to promote awareness of where hobbyists can fly their drones?
- What technological solutions is the FAA exploring to prevent drone collisions and improve safety?
“As the steward of our nation’s aviation safety, it is the FAA’s responsibility to ensure that drones are safely operating within the national airspace,” writes Markey. “All it takes is one drone to fly into the path of one passenger jet and a disaster can ensue. We must take action before a catastrophe like this happens.”
Last year, Markey and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., introduced the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act, which they said would establish safeguards to protect the privacy of individuals from the expanded use of drones.
Markey is a member of the subcommittee on aviation operations, safety and security of the U.S. Senate committee on commerce, science and transportation.
His full letter to the FAA can be found here.