Since Congress permitted the use of domestic drones back in February, the FAA has been “flooded” with applications for permits to fly unmanned aircraft in our nation’s airspace. Among the numerous military, police, and universities interested in operating the technology (KBIA, a Missouri-based NPR affiliate recently received a grant to purchase one), the Hollywood gossip outlet TMZ was conspicuously included on the list of applicants, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle over the weekend.
TMZ denied the report on their website this morning: “Truth is … while drones are, in fact, awesome … it just ain’t true.” The verdict is still out as to whether the drones will impede already highly-trafficked skies. Michael Huerta, FAA Administrator, speaking in Las Vegas earlier this year, attested to the fact that drones cannot readily sense other flying objects. The FAA is currently working with “collision avoidance experts” to rectify a potentially dangerous situation. The government cites many potential uses for domestic drones, though observing the private lives of celebrities from hundreds of feet above Mulholland Drive is likely not high on the list.