With the Paris Air Show in the background, three of Europe’s top military contractors reportedly are urging the region’s governments to support a joint program to develop a reconnaissance drone to reduce dependence on American and Israeli manufacturers.
Meanwhile, it is reported that a unit of surveillance drones will be used in Northern Ireland during the G-8 summit of world leaders to keep tabs on protest marches and scan the countryside for terrorist threats.
Domestically, the FBI has admitted it sometimes uses aerial surveillance drones over US soil, and suggested further political debate and legislation to govern their domestic use may be necessary.
Lost in this reporting (no fault of the reporters necessarily) is discussion of the beneficial economic and practical applications of unmanned aerial vehicles. The pejorative term “drone” and persistent concerns about the tension between safety and privacy risk further development of this emerging and important aviation technology.