Planes Sans Pilots Cause Concern...

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UAVs And You...

When the U.S. Border Patrol began late last month to fly two Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to help patrol the Arizona-Mexico border, the deployment raised questions about collision avoidance. "UAVs pose a significant threat to air traffic along and near the border," one AVweb reader, a professional pilot based in Tucson, wrote to us last week. "Not only for my company, but also for the many GA airplanes that transit the border, and the airlines coming from Mexico on descent to Tucson." AOPA also expressed concern, asking the FAA to establish an industry committee to address UAV operations outside of restricted airspace and to develop aircraft certification standards dealing with collision avoidance. The UAVs in Arizona are operated by the U.S. Border Patrol for the Department of Homeland Security. The flights are in a testing and evaluation phase through the end of the summer.