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U.S. approves BP drone surveys of Alaskan oilfields

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – BP has been authorized to use unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, to conduct aerial surveys of pipelines and other infrastructure on Alaska’s North Slope, the first commercial drone flights over land, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday. AeroVironment started flying its Puma AE drone to survey BP’s pipelines,…

Voters shoot down CO town’s ‘silly’ proposal to issue drone-hunting licenses

Voters in the small farming town of Deer Trail, Colorado, on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a tongue-in-cheek proposal to issue hunting licenses to shoot down unmanned drones that fly over the hamlet’s airspace, an election official said. The ballot question, which would have allowed the town of 600 to issue mock…

Australia plans to use drones to patrol borders: report

Australia plans to buy seven giant unmanned drones for Aus$3 billion (US$2.7 billion), potentially to help patrol its borders, a report said on Saturday. The unmanned aircraft, with the wingspan of a 737 passenger jet, would primarily be used by the……

Alaska uses drones to inspect oil and gas pipelines at a fraction of the cost

By Krithika Krishnamurthy (Reuters) – No pilot was required when the Aeryon Scout took off into the leaden skies of Alaska to inspect a stretch of oil pipeline. The miniature aircraft was guided by an engineer on the ground, armed only with a tablet computer. The 20-minute test flight, conducted…

U.S. military plans to build drone base in North Africa: official

The US military plans to set up a base for drones in northwest Africa to bolster surveillance of Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in the region as well as allied Islamist extremists, a US official told AFP on Monday. The base for the robotic, unmanned aircraft would likely be located in Niger, on…

Dept. of Transportation allegedly withholding data on domestic drone flights

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday for allegedly withholding records pertaining to the use of unmanned aircraft within the United States. “Drones give the government and other unmanned aircraft operators a powerful new surveillance tool to gather extensive and intrusive…

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