The Washington Times - April 1, 2013, 11:11AM

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday will host its first “online public engagement session” to allow the public to voice concerns over the threats to personal privacy posed by domestic drones.

Specifically, the FAA is soliciting comments on the privacy protocol it plans to implement at each of its six drone test sites, where the crafts will be put through a battery of tests before they’re allowed into U.S. airspace in 2015. The agency says public comments won’t drive policy but will help ensure that all voices are heard.


“They are not intended to predetermine the long-term policy and regulatory framework under which commercial [drones] would operate,” the FAA said in a statement. “Rather, they aim to assure maximum transparency of privacy policies.”

The session will begin at noon Wednesday and run until 2 p.m. The agency plans to outline its test site program and proposed privacy policy, then take comments from participants, each of whom will have up to three minutes to weigh in.

The test site program is vital to the federal government’s plan to safely integrate commercial drones into the already crowded national airspace. More than 30 states, including Maryland and Virginia, have expressed interest in hosting a site.

The locations have yet to be chosen.