Oklahoma’s secretary of state for science and technology says that air regulators want to sleep at night – so say no to UAVs

It is reported that a unit of surveillance drones will be used for the first time in Northern Ireland during the G-8 summit of world leaders to keep tabs on protest marches and scan the countryside for terrorist threats.

Germany cancels order for drones

The German armed forces, which have one prototype Euro Hawk, which are built by US Northrop Grumman and European aerospace combine EADS, and were considering buying four more, heard that the defence minister had cancelled a €660m contract last month to develop five Euro Hawk reconnaissance drones based on US technology because of a “fundamental misunderstanding” over certification requirements”. He feared aviation authorities in Europe would not certify the controversial aircraft to fly over the continent because it lacks the anti-collision system.

The order sparked protests caused by the memory of footage of an out-of-control drone narrowly missing an Afghan passenger plane carrying 100 people, nine years ago.The video, filmed from onboard the unmanned German Luna drone as it flew over Afghanistan, showed it missing the plane by about two metres. The German ‘Luna’ drone was caught in air turbulence created by the Ariana passenger plane, before losing control and crash landing near the Afghan capital, Kabul. German magazine Der Spiegel believe that the drone flew less than two metres away from the Airbus A300, putting 100 lives at risk.

However the money machine grinds on

Business Week reported yesterday that European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. is joining forces with Dassault Aviation SA (AM) and Italy’s Finmeccanica SpA (FNC) to urge European states to back a drone effort and end reliance on U.S. and Israeli suppliers.

Regulators want to sleep at night – say no to UAVs

The FT reported yesterday, ‘Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma’s secretary of state for science and technology, says the privacy issue has delayed until the end of this year the federal decision over which states will get the coveted right to open slivers of their airspace to test UAVs. Oklahoma is one of those vying for the chance. “The safest way to not have an unmanned aerial vehicle crash with a manned aircraft is not to have UAVs fly at all. Regulators want to sleep at night and the easiest way to do that is to say no, not yes,” he says.’

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