Obstacles may delay drones' access to US skies

6:14 PM, Sep 18, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (AP) - A government watchdog says safety and security obstacles raise concern that the Federal Aviation Administration won't be able meet a deadline to allow civilian drones routine access to U.S. skies within three years.

A Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday says the FAA has already missed one deadline set by Congress in a law passed last February, and could miss other looming deadlines. The law requires FAA to develop a system for civilian drones to fly safely in airspace currently limited to manned aircraft by Sept. 30, 2015, and sets several milestones for the agency to meet.

Among the difficult-to-resolve issues is how to ensure drones won't collide with manned aircraft, and how to prevent hackers from interfering with the GPS signals drones rely on for navigation.

The Associated Press

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