Top pilot sees risk in unregulated US drones

Captain Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, stands behind a DJI Phantom 2 drone after testifying in Washington, DC on December 10, 2014Small drones pose a danger in US skies so long as clear rules governing their operation are not in place, the head of the world’s biggest pilots’ union said Wednesday. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), issued the warning — with his own personal drone in hand — at a Capitol Hill hearing into unmanned aircraft vehicles, or UAVs. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has yet to come up with a dedicated set of rules for low-flying drones under 55 pounds (25 kilograms) — a category that includes consumer models that are set to be this year’s hot Christmas gift. Gerald Dillingham of the Government Accountability Office, the non-partisan research arm of Congress, doubted that regulations could be enacted before 2017 — two years later than initially anticipated.

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