Monday Flash – January 27, 2019

DOT – 2019 Off To A Non-Leadership Start

This week we discuss how drones are a safety issue…

Drones – Dangerous Enough To Shut Airports Down…

…And The Feds Are Clueless 

Last week, Newark was shut down due to drone sightings…

You can bet that whoever was operating the thing – or things – got a great chuckle.

With just a little device costing a couple hundred bucks, he or she successfully and stealthily shut down one of the nation’s biggest airports. Walter Mitty with a control box.

And the perp knows that nobody can find out who he is.

This has been experienced at other airports across the world.  The proliferation of these small devices continues. While there’s talk about the need to detect them, there’s little or no discussion of how to track down who’s operating them.

It doesn’t take a think-tank report from Wharton to figure out what this means in terms of air safety and security.

But not to worry. The DOT is taking strong action. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has promised that new “guidelines” will be issued soon to address this situation.

Yessir, guidelines will certainly do the trick. You can bet that any individual with mayhem on their mind, or, just some dimbulb high school kid in Astoria wanting to buzz LGA, will take note… especially when they know they can’t get caught… or in the case of a terrorist, can’t be stopped.

Point: until there is solid technology to track operator accountability, drone usage is a safety and security threat. Newark was just a warning. It again demonstrates that, regardless of the enormous future benefits of drone channels of communication, the aviation system is not ready to safely accommodate them.

Therefore, civilian drone use should be prohibited. Yes, taken out of the skies.

Now. The DOT’s “guidelines” will be of precious little value if one of these things takes out an airliner. Long shot? Maybe.

And, maybe not. It’s electronically-directed fla