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[s49] Sen. Jim Tomes Suggests Study Committee on Drones, Full Senate Approves
Start Date: 2/25/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 2/25/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 25, 2013) — Today, the full Senate approved a resolution authored by State Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville) that calls for a study on the use of drones in Indiana.

 

Senate Resolution 27 urges the General Assembly’s Legislative Council to create an interim study committee on the use of aircraft, specifically on what are known as UAVs — unmanned aerial vehicles or drones.

 

Tomes originally authored legislation to limit use of UAVs in Indiana because of privacy and safety concerns. However, after talking with fellow legislators and learning of increased federal drone use for military purposes, he decided to suggest a study of the technology.

 

“Learning about the unlimited uses of these aircrafts and the intention of making them available to so many organizations and individuals has been interesting,” Tomes said. “We're not talking about recreational radio-controlled airplanes. These unmanned aerial vehicles have the ability to record what’s happening on the ground — even in the privacy of our personal property — for the eyes and ears of whoever owns them. They really could present an extensive intrusion on privacy rights, unless limited to military use.”

 

Domestic demand for drones is increasing, Tomes added. One list released in 2012 by the Federal Aviation Administration showed more than 60 U.S. entities had applied for certificates of authorization, including universities and police departments. This first became a concern to Tomes over the summer, when he learned of a UAV accident involving a sheriff’s department in Texas.

 

“Outside of creating a privacy issue, the operation of drones — especially by untrained civilians — brings about a public safety concern,” Tomes said. “Do we want inexperienced individuals flying these aircraft wherever and whenever they feel like doing it? In general, it’s crucial that we study these devices now rather than later, as use is increasing. I look forward to hearing what my colleagues have to say after examining the issue closer.”

 

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Contact Information:
Name: Whitney Moorman
Phone: 317-232-7184
Email: wmoorman@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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    Senate Republican Caucus

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