Over the skies of Arizona a bizarre array of aircraft are invading their airspace. These are UAV’s, or
unmanned aerial vehicles, and they are being tested for use in wars, border
patrol, law enforcement and – yes – commercial freight and passenger
Imagine climbing aboard an aircraft, locating your seat,
sitting back to relax while a crew – on the ground at the airlines headquarters
– prepares for takeoff, hundreds or even thousands of miles away from the aircraft
itself! But for the resistance of the
venerable FAA, it could be happening right now!
UAV’s are more and more in the news because they are being
used by the military over Iraq and
They are flown by pilots at airbases right here in the USA, and can
fly thousands of miles without any pilots (or anyone) on board at all. They can
depart from US air bases, navigate halfway around the world, complete a mission
and return to their US air base.
Raytheon spokesman Don Newman, who is the director of
unmanned systems, predicts that companies like UPS, DHL and FedEx will
eventually use unmanned aircraft, followed shortly thereafter by the major air
The FAA reluctance is being addressed and approval of
standards for using unmanned aerial vehicles in the National Airspace System is
expected to occur as soon as 2010.
That’s right folks, its all about money! The USAF says it costs $ 700,000 to train
pilots while a UAV operator can be trained for $ 13,000. Doesn’t that make you feel real safe, Hersch?
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!