The Miami-Dade Police Department will begin testing unmanned drones as law enforcement tools next year. This will be one of the first times the Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA) sanctioned the use of the drones, also known as unmanned aerial systems, by a police department.
According to a report by Local10.com, the FAA will look to Miami to see how they can manage the use of the system. The Houston police department is the only other department given permission by the FAA to test the vehicles, which are equipped with cameras.
Miami will be using the Micro Air Vehicle made by Honeywell. Only licensed pilots will be permitted to operate the vehicle. There has been controversy over the FAA's existing unmanned aerial systems regulations and its decision whether to allow police departments permission to fly its drones. Look for more on that topic in the upcoming January 2008 issue of Security Management.