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US names drone testing sites

Published on Dec 31, 2013 6:47 AM
 
A Scan Eagle drone sits on the deck of the USS Ponce, on Dec 6, 2013 in Manama, Bahrain. US aviation regulators on Monday, Dec 30, 2013, released the names of sites picked to test civilian drones whose slated 2015 debut over American skies has sparked privacy concerns. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US aviation regulators on Monday, Dec 30, 2013, released the names of sites picked to test civilian drones whose slated 2015 debut over American skies has sparked privacy concerns.

Testing of the unmanned aircraft is due to start within three months and could continue until February 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement.

The FAA has said some 7,500 small unmanned aircraft can be expected in US airspace in the next five years - provided regulations are in place to handle them.

As well as law enforcement, supporters say civilian drones could be used for a vast range of applications, including tracking the progress of wildfires, helping to find lost skiers, identifying criminals or mapping inhospitable terrain.

 
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