The city of Alpine in Presidio County rejected a proposal that would have made it one of six FAA testing sites for drones. Reported a local TV station:
Alpine was designated as a possible launch and recovery site last month but city council members voted against it.Meanwhile, down south, "The U.S. Border Patrol will evaluate the use of three helium-filled surveillance balloons along the Texas-Mexico border that were originally used by the Department of Defense in Iraq and Afghanistan," reported AP. See earlier Grits coverage of surveillance blimps on the Texas-Mexico border.
Pilots in the area, including Kevin O'Cuillin, were worried about safety.
"It's a very dangerous situation. A drone can't see us. As we learned earlier, there is no air traffic control," O'Cuillin said.
Residents in the tri-county area do feel better. Oscar Cobos started a petition against drones in Alpine and talked with Presidio County about taking measures to prevent a testing site.
Finally, at Slate, Nabiha Syed discusses why the FBI thinks warrantless drone surveillance is legal. Regular readers know that, after the passage of HB 912 last session, state and local law enforcement in Texas must now get a warrant to use drone surveillance, and the new statute includes a super-tough exclusionary rule when agencies use them without one.