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Hawaii among states selected by FAA for drone testing

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 06:59 p.m. HST, Dec 30, 2013

Hawaii has been selected to be a test bed for increased drone flights as the Federal Aviation Administration seeks to create rules of the air and incorporate an ever-expanding number of the flying robots into the nation's airspace.

Hawaii, Alaska and Oregon are part of a partnership that was selected to become one of six groups nationwide for the effort, with backers hoping the Aloha State would become a mecca for unmanned vehicle research, testing and certification, creating science jobs and adding millions to the economy along the way.

Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island, the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai and even the island of Niihau have been included in discussions of places where the testing could occur, officials said.

The FAA said in a release Monday that "after a rigorous 10-month selection process involving 25 proposals from 24 states," it had chosen six unmanned aircraft systems research and test site operators across the country.

In selecting the six test site operators, the FAA said it considered geography, climate, location of ground infrastructure, research needs, airspace use, safety, aviation experience and risk.

"In totality, these six test applications achieve cross-country geographic and climatic diversity and help the FAA meet its UAS research needs," the FAA said.

The Hawaii selection came through a partnership with the University of Alaska.

"The University of Alaska proposal contained a diverse set of test site range locations in seven climatic zones as well as geographic diversity with test site range locations in Hawaii and Oregon," the FAA said.

 The research plan includes the development of a set of standards for unmanned aircraft categories, state monitoring and navigation. Sites in Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and a Virginia-New Jersey partnership also were selected.

The FAA said it  is confident that the agency's research goals including system safety and data gathering, aircraft certification, command and control issues, control station layout and certification and environmental impacts will be met.

"Each test site operator will manage the test site in a way that will give access to parties interested in using the site. The FAA's role is to ensure each operator sets up a safe testing environment and to provide oversight that guarantees each site operates under strict safety standards," the agency said.

The FAA said it recognized "it was important to have requirements ensuring that privacy and civil liberties are protected at the test sites."  Among other requirements, test site operators must comply with federal, state, and other laws protecting an individual's right to privacy, have publicly available privacy policies and a written plan for data use and retention, and conduct an annual review of privacy practices that allows for public comment, the FAA said.

Test site operations will continue until at least February 13, 2017, the FAA said.

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Too_Much_Pilikia wrote:
A compliant populace will give the feds all the power it needs to control all aspects of our lives. Another nail in the coffin for us freedom loving citizens.
on December 30,2013 | 09:54AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Well then next time vote Republican !!
on December 30,2013 | 01:22PM
NITRO08 wrote:
Wasn't bush a republican it all started with the republicans, Don't you remember after 911 Bush and Chaney started the homeland security and all the spying wake up!
on December 30,2013 | 02:25PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Yes however who was impeached in 1998? Oh also "I am not a crook" resigned in 1974. Oh well then both parties have indignants !!
on December 30,2013 | 02:35PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Clinton's impeachment was a joke, engineered by a bunch of partisan hypocrites, most prominently, newt gingrich, who was himself in the midst of affair at the time.
on December 30,2013 | 03:32PM
kennysmith wrote:
I will not for them at all. No more from me they need to get out of the office they are in.
on December 30,2013 | 05:55PM
pcman wrote:
IRT Pilikia on freedom. I am not worried about the feds spying on us because they are controlled by laws. The problem will be private industry spying on us without controls, morals and ethics. They could sell what they collect to anyone who pays. Then there are the potential terrorists who could fly in bombs into malls, stadiums and urban centers from faraway lands with low visibility and under the radars. They follow no laws.
on December 30,2013 | 01:38PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Feds are not controlled by laws, they are controlled by an above the law person, who is on Oahu now.
on December 30,2013 | 02:37PM
wiliki wrote:
We don't need a drone just outside your bathroom window Privacy is needed.....
on December 30,2013 | 08:38PM
mokebla wrote:
If you got nothing to hide or not breaking the law why worry? Ah might see some of your plants, :)
on December 31,2013 | 04:04AM
serious wrote:
I am amazed that Alaska and Hawaii the only two states impacted by the Jones Act which drives up our costs 2.7 times more than the mainland have been selected. But, then, the government never worries about cost. And the privacy rights??? I guess they never heard that Snowden came from here???
on December 30,2013 | 10:04AM
HanabataDays wrote:
The Jones Act affects this proposal exactly how, again? Oh, that's right -- it doesn't. Unless you're talking about Amazon's drones flying out here from the West Coast. Nomonuff gas fo'dat, but. Also, Snowden neva "came from here". You're thinking about Obama.
on December 30,2013 | 10:46AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Hanabata, Hanakuso, Hanabusa, take your choice, all have to do with digging your nose.
on December 30,2013 | 12:12PM
wiliki wrote:
Serious has his own agenda.... there are probably good reasons for selecting Hawaii. Looks like politics is not the main criteria. Good point, but I'm sure other states will try to cash in as the programs starts going.
on December 30,2013 | 08:41PM
awahana wrote:
Serious, you are seriously confusing everyone. Think before you type.
on December 30,2013 | 11:56AM
busterb wrote:
LOL, probably thinks you guys are awabataDays and Hanahana.
on December 30,2013 | 12:13PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Get a lot of dumbo here, not u. If I ask u what is 2 plus 3 plus 7 plus 5 plus 8, what is your answer?
on December 30,2013 | 01:24PM
murry wrote:
who are the backers who will benefit by this intrusion?
on December 30,2013 | 10:18AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
300 million of us
on December 30,2013 | 01:28PM
primo1 wrote:
Let the conspiracy theories begin...
on December 30,2013 | 10:19AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Just read this entire story, from Cole's story to our forum. Most if not all the conspiracy theories are in the forum. Conspiracy theories turn up in the HSA OpEd section. Guess what our writings give the HSA ideas so best advice: JUST SHUT UP!!!
on December 30,2013 | 02:40PM
9ronboz wrote:
watch the animal rights & the environmental groups shoot this project down
on December 30,2013 | 10:23AM
HanabataDays wrote:
Your use of "animal rights" and "shoot down" in the same sentence is particularly hilarious in this context.
on December 30,2013 | 10:44AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Yes we have lobbyists on both sides of the coin. If u r Hanabusa, then Colleen u need to be ashamed of yourself blogging under our own noses as Hanabata. Next time use Hanakuso, which is dry and u no need to use one handkerchief !!
on December 30,2013 | 12:16PM
BluesBreaker wrote:
More government intrusion into the lives of the American people, for no demonstrable reason. This is just an extension of the the erosion of civil liberties and constitutional rights that began after 9/11. The government tells us to be afraid of supposed threats and that the only hope for safety and security is for us to surrender our right to privacy and let the feds abrogate our Fourth Amendment protections.
on December 30,2013 | 10:34AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Well why r u in favor of TheTrain then?
on December 30,2013 | 12:17PM
what wrote:
Bluesbreaker thinks that government money comes from magical Bond fairies and money printing Unicorns, and not taken from the pockets of hard working tax paying Americans.
on December 30,2013 | 12:45PM
wiliki wrote:
on December 30,2013 | 09:01PM
HanabataDays wrote:
Ni`ihau? Fat chance. Those guys over there know how to hunt.
on December 30,2013 | 10:43AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Best two islands: Niihau and Kahoolawe . No people, no bottles, no trash, no doodoo, no nothing.
on December 30,2013 | 12:20PM
primo1 wrote:
Niihau got people. Kahoolawe still got plenty unexploded ordnance.
on December 30,2013 | 01:35PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Well Niihau could be for target practice lol. No I don't think they going bomb Niihau. Only make sure u got all your shades up on Niihau, because the eye in the sky going record every move u make, including dumps.
on December 30,2013 | 01:50PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Personally I just think we have way too much military presence in Hawaii already. We should strive to be the islands of peace and a bridge between nations, not a testing ground for devices that kill so many women and children.
on December 30,2013 | 11:10AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
No take the military for granted. Last time we did, your ancestors from Japan bombed us.
on December 30,2013 | 12:21PM
what wrote:
Do you think a "peace bridge between nations" is going to stop the North Koreans from developing a ballistic missile with enough range to hit Hawaii?
on December 30,2013 | 12:51PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
No that's why we have these drones. To do the job that previously involved a human piloting the high fly over Russia.
on December 30,2013 | 01:31PM
wiliki wrote:
They already have one.... the real question is when are we going to negotiate with them?
on December 30,2013 | 09:08PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Wow. Just wow.
on December 30,2013 | 05:38PM
wiliki wrote:
Military claim that with drones they will kill less woman and children. It's always a tough choice when the enemy can go home to rest, or conducts his business in a public place. Congress hasn't seen fit to narrow the operations of these aircraft.
on December 30,2013 | 09:06PM
CloudForest wrote:
New usages of the word drone: "Go drone yourself." "I've been droned." "My drone is malfunctioning." "Holy drones!" "Get the drone out of here." and my newly invented favorite: "Got drone?"
on December 30,2013 | 11:17AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
on December 30,2013 | 01:47PM
false wrote:
Re-elect a DRONE.
on December 30,2013 | 05:05PM
islandsun wrote:
Use the drones to video illegal fishing then send fishermen huge fines......
on December 30,2013 | 12:04PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
They will do that and soon they will have surveillance over all our land, much more than Google, so that they will be able to catch all criminals in the act. Btw, these are needed because Obama bin Laden is still running his al-Michelle.
on December 30,2013 | 12:24PM
environmental_lady wrote:
I am adamantly opposed to testing drones here. Our air safety and privacy will be compromised. I sure don't want to see any drone flying over my property. Drones are used to target citizens and many of them are innocently killed. And yes, I support both the environment and animal rights and I'm proud of it.
on December 30,2013 | 12:07PM
juscasting wrote:
The only difference between a drone and a plane is that one has a pilot sitting in one while the other one is piloted remotely by a pilot hundreds of miles away. Both are still human. I think the issue is that currently drones are being used at the moment solelyfor military purposes, but the future of its use is endless. Drones can be used to chase and study storms and hurricanes and do other task that put the safety of humans at risk. Remember, when planes and helicopters where invented their purposes was Military.
on December 30,2013 | 12:20PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Yes and when life was invented, all we wanted was some grub.
on December 30,2013 | 12:26PM
First-Responder wrote:
Get real, they are going to be used to monitor the populace, not storms.
on December 30,2013 | 01:22PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Populace of North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Libya, Afghanistan for starters. In the USA, we have a device called the Social Security Number that tracks us. Get into trouble with The Law and u have to surrender ur DNA.
on December 30,2013 | 01:34PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Nice writing Bill, u da man.
on December 30,2013 | 12:27PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Btw Bill u remember last year Christmas u wrote a story regarding Irwin Yamamoto? Well he is a first cousin of mine and also my mom, which was one of the three surviving sisters on that circa 1939 pic, just passed away last month. Her older sister on Kauai has Alzheimer's and the younger sister lives in Wahiawa and she is the best, my favorite Auntie. I go see her like maybe two or three times a year, dropping off a pumpkin pie from Zippy's sometimes. Last time I saw my Auntie was Christmas Eve this year, about a week ago and I gave her a gift. Mele Kalikimaka and Hauoli Makahiki Hou !!
on December 30,2013 | 12:32PM
First-Responder wrote:
Will DNLR issue hunting licenses for these intrusive devices too? I hope so.
on December 30,2013 | 01:21PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The drones are under the auspices of the Federal Government. However u may be right in that Hawaii's State Government is so powerful that one cannot smuggle in a mamba. Neil may veto Barry's intrusions. Then again Neil and Barry are BFF so that idea is crushed.
on December 30,2013 | 01:44PM
false wrote:
Why did they pick our Gov.? Opps I failed to read the story first. My bad.
on December 30,2013 | 05:04PM
Kealii wrote:
The only drones I want are the Amazon drones delivering goodies. A new kind of hunting season will begin!
on December 30,2013 | 05:38PM
wiliki wrote:
Perhaps great for the school of engineering and our economy. I Guess that we would make a good place to test ocean retrieval of drones,
on December 30,2013 | 08:36PM
wiliki wrote:
Privacy can be insured with the extension of laws to protect privacy. I don't think that business will use this to intrude on our lives but to make it better... Rather I see great expectation of military use for this program.

For example we have microdrones which can operate undetected because of their small sizes. They could be deployed into a neighborhood to find suitable targets and relay the targeting information to larger drones to neutralize the target. If the microdrones were emitted from an undercover mobile vehicle it would be almost impossible to detect.

on December 30,2013 | 09:02PM
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