Posted by Lee Fang
With little debate, lobbyists slipped language into an FAA reauthorization bill earlier this year that will allow some 30,000 drones to fly over domestic airspace in coming years. While the shift may lead to a marked loss of privacy for millions of Americans, one congressman is bragging about carrying the drone industry's water.
Congressman Rick Berg (R-ND), a first-term lawmaker now running for U.S. Senate, recorded a message for the Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVS), touting his efforts to insert language into legislation that would allow drones to share airspace and runways for domestic test flights. "It's clear to me that expanding the use of unmanned systems hold enormous potential for our state and our country," said Berg in his taped video for the AUVS lobby group.
As Republic Report has noted, AUVS is funded largely by military contractors that build and operate drones in Iraq and Afghanistan. The group has doubled its lobbying expenses in recent years, and managed to develop a bipartisan pro-drone caucus in Congress, of which Berg is a member and Congressman Buck McKeon (R-CA) is co-chair.