|modified unmanned Jetstream aircraft
brought to you by BAE Systems
Early this year, the United States Congress called for the accelerated use of drones in civilian airspace. In order to facilitate the initiative it was necessary to enlist the FAA to oversee the seamless integration. The authorization bill states:
The plan… shall provide for the safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system as soon as practicable, but not later than September 30, 2015.
However, this plan has actually been in effect since 2010, as hundreds of FAA authorizations already have been granted within U.S. airspace. This has resulted in the quick ramp-up of drone bases and even domestic law enforcement operations on American soil.
It is no secret that America and Britain are tightly joined at the hip in all manner of surveillance and war. So, naturally, the UK has announced its own test flight of an unmanned vehicle over British soil, which will likely pave the way for a full-scale drone presence throughout the region.
Aerospace and Defense News is reporting on a modified Jetstream aircraft called “The Test Bed,” which was developed by the massive multinational defense contractor BAE Systems, and is part of a much broader plan for “autonomous systems” that has been named ASTRAEA. The goal to analyze and implement “the technologies, systems, facilities, procedures and regulations that will allow autonomous vehicles to operate safely and routinely in civil airspace over the United Kingdom (emphasis added).”
Their announcement goes on to state:
The aircraft will fly using Instrument Flight Rules under air traffic control. In preparation, trials taking place this month include the world’s first use of autonomous, vision-based weather-avoidance routing and the first UK surrogate flight of a fully functional visual sense-and-avoid system which includes collision avoidance tests using a second aircraft. This trial will begin to demonstrate to regulators such as the Civil Air Authority and air traffic control service providers, the progress made towards achieving the safe use of UAVs in UK airspace. (Source: ASD News)
There are currently similar programs to what has been accepted in the United States, and now the UK, in the planning and implementation phase throughout Spain, South Africa, Germany, Canada, France, Australia, South Korea, India and Israel … just to name a few. (Source)
It is clear that no country will be left behind in the commercial race to the bottom by corporate mercenaries to ensure that populations near and far — allies or not — are subjected to constant monitoring and the threat of random violence at the hands of the State.
For America, it will be very difficult to combat the spread of drones at the federal level with a completely sold-out Congress at the helm, but there has been some resistance at the local level. If you would like to find out what is happening in your neighborhood and how you can take action to prevent drones from being incorporated by your police department, please click HERE for additional information.
Other sources for this article:
Drone Nation: The Rise of the Unmanned Aerial Machines