Authorities seek authorization for government agencies (including local police) to electronically disable quadcopters, potentially shooting them down electronically or kinetically.
In their scenarios, quadcopters are just a way to drop explosives (tiny ones!) and spray chemicals and bio-terror weapons.
Prediction of what will gradually happen:
- A Federal license will eventually be required to fly a radio control model aircraft anywhere except an AMA- certified model airfield.
- Operators will be required to file an electronic flight plan with the government prior to each flight (except at AMA-certified model airfields). Filing will be done using a smart phone app.
- Model aircraft outside of AMA-certified model airfields will be required to include a radio transponder providing at least a registration ID # (of course, such devices could be readily disabled by actual criminals and terrorists). In addition, new tech will be used to track all small model aircraft in flight at low altitudes. This could be done using passive radar, intercepting weak reflections from local FM broadcast signals.
- A host of “take down” technologies will be developed and authorized, including “nets” that ensnare model aircraft, radio jamming to foul their control link (what if they are autonomous?), and radio jamming of GPS signals (to disable autonomous mode and mess up everyone else in the area)
- Local governments will enact their own restrictions. While local government are prohibited from regulating flying aircraft (that is the domain of the FAA), some have instead prohibited taking off and landing within city limits, which bypasses the “in flight” part that they cannot regulate.
- Police will increasingly “stop and risk” those flying quadcopters or other model aircraft.
- Kites, which can do almost all of the bad things QCs can do, will remain unregulated 🙂