Alpine City Council Says 'No' To Drones 11/19/13
November 19, 2013
Alpine - City council members in Alpine were met with a room full of upset residents as officials presented the possibility of bringing drones to the area. This has been a hot button topic amongst the entire community. Sitting in on the city council meeting, you could feel the frustration in the room, local residents were concerned about privacy and pilots were concerned about safety while they are flying.
“The Alpine area it’s very dangerous, there’s no air traffic separation between unmanned area drones and manned aircraft's,” said pilot of 30 years Steve Posner.
Recently the FAA released a road map that will integrate unmanned aerial systems, also known as drones, into the national airspace system. For Alpine, city officials are now being asked to house a launch and recover site at the local airport inviting drones to fly overhead.
“Alpine is the best airport in the area, we believe that it is ideal for a launch and recovery site,” said Texas A&M Corpus Christi Sr. Researcher Ron George.
“We are very concerned about safety issues, which is why we want to conduct the research and develop the policy to makes sure that we can fly these platforms in a safe way,” said Texas A&M Corpus Christi Vice President of Research Luis Cifuentes.
Even after a 30-minute presentation on how this could benefit the city, residents weren’t buying it, and lined up to let the council know.
After the debate was over, council voted no unanimously to allowing the Alpine-Casparis Municipal Airport turn into a launch and recover site for the drones. However George says, regardless if the drones can land at the airport or not, they will still be flying in the airspace above Alpine.