Drone Bill Gets Strong Opposition - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Drone Bill Gets Strong Opposition

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Bismarck, ND -

The first ever arrest made with the assistance of a drone happened in North Dakota in 2012.

Legislators will decide this session if they should be one of the first states to regulate the use of drones.

Representative Rick Becker proposes a bill that requires a search warrant if a drone is used to do surveillance on a person.

But at a hearing today, he was the only person who spoke in favor of the bill.

Most of the opposition to the bill is over how the law could threaten the state's chances of becoming a FAA test site for UAS's.

Representative Curt Kreun of Grand Forks says the bill sends the wrong message to the FAA.

The FAA wants to study how manned and unmanned aircraft can co-mingle in airspace.

If North Dakota vying to be one of six sites for testing, training and maintaining unmanned aircraft.

The FAA is expected to make their selection by the end of the year.

"Negative publicity can hurt this application, it's very sensitive. FAA wants to test UAS integration in national airspace where it's embraced, not hindered. This bill could cost ND opportunity and jobs," says Kreun.

Associate Vice President for Intellectual Property Commercialization and Economic Development, Mike Moore, says "It limits our ability to fully use and it places a flag on our proposal where we are limited to how we can use UAS."

"It says under section three in the bill you do not need to obtain a search warrant for testing, training, research and so forth. As hard as I might I was not able to find how this could have an adverse consequence for UND or North Dakota," says Representative Rick Becker.

Those who oppose the bill say they would rather lawmakers study the idea for the next legislative session.

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