|Homeland Security and Transportation Committee Republican Leaders Oppose DHS Plans to Shoot Down Drones Near U.S. Airports|
WASHINGTON – The Republican leaders of the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today objected to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) irresponsible proposal to allow for the operation of counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) equipment near airports, including equipment that could be capable of shooting down drones.
Homeland Security Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.) wrote to DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf to emphasize that, under the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-254), Congress provided only limited authority to DHS to take action against drones in certain circumstances in highly secure or sensitive government-controlled areas – and the department’s proposed plan goes far beyond the authority it was given.
“The National Airspace System hosts over 44,000 flights carrying 2.7 million passengers each day, with many of our airports in or near densely populated communities. The only federal agency that fully understands the incredible complexity of this system, in its totality, is the Federal Aviation Administration,” said Graves and Rogers. “Nobody wants drones to cause disruptions at our airports, but to hastily hand over authority to shoot down drones to an agency that doesn’t have the critical knowledge or experience of how our airspace system functions is irresponsible and dangerous.”