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Senators urge FAA to allow remote tracking of drones

Senators urge FAA to allow remote tracking of drones
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A bipartisan pair of senators on Monday called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to "swiftly publish" a proposed rule for remote identification of unmanned aircraft systems, otherwise known as drones.

Remote identification rules would enable the public, the FAA and law enforcement to identify and track drones and their operators in flight.

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Sens. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally MORE (D-Mass.) and John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneMurkowski: Trump should concede White House race Senate GOP open to confirming Yellen to be Biden's Treasury secretary Biden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate MORE (R-S.D.) said in a letter Monday to Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration New administration, House turnover raise prospects for more diversity on K Street Reinvesting in American leadership MORE that there have been several drone sightings in “safety-sensitive areas” in recent months that have “underscored the need to quickly adopt and implement remote identification.”

They pointed to drone sightings that have caused delays at London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports, as well as at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

They also noted that a drone flew over Fenway Park last week during a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.

"Remote identification will enhance safety, security, and privacy, and serve as a critical tool for law enforcement to respond to and address reports of illegal and unauthorized drone operations," Thune and Markey wrote in the letter.

Markey and Thune in their letter also requested that Chao provide them with a written response "detailing what steps must be taken between now and July 21 for the FAA to release” a proposed rule for remote identification.