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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - Peter Bale
The drone industry isn't flying under the radar anymore. As industry leaders, government and military officials gather this week in Northern Virginia, the "unmanned vehicle systems" sector faces mounting questions on all sides, including privacy concerns, hostile state and local laws, and constitutional battles over the roles of drones in the modern U.S. military arsenal.
Frustrated commercial drone companies say the Obama administration is falling further and further behind in meeting congressional demands to clear the path for full integration into American airspace by 2015. Billions of dollars of investments as well as commercial applications for drones could be caught up in the delay, they warn.
"And in times of tight budgets, [drones] can provide the same capability of a manned helicopter at a fraction of the operational cost, saving taxpayer dollars," Mr. Bale said.
"They have the capability to help police and firefighters, who put themselves into harm's way every day in order to protect the communities they serve, do their job safely and efficiently," association Chairman Peter Bale said in a recent letter to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, arguing against the pending anti-drone legislation.