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Security

Can Drones Really Get National Airspace Access? 107

coondoggie writes "There is a push by a variety of proponents to give unmanned aircraft more free rein in US airspace, but safety is a major hitch in that effort. The Federal Aviation Administration said this week that data from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, which flies unmanned systems on border patrols, shows a total of 5,688 flight hours from Fiscal Year 2006 to July 13, 2010. The CBP accident rate is 52.7 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. This accident rate is more than seven times the general aviation accident rate (7.11 accidents/100,000 flight hours) and 353 times the commercial aviation accident rate (0.149 accidents/100,000 flight hours)." An FAA executive noted that an "accident" refers to a situation in which "the aircraft has done something unplanned or unexpected and violates an airspace regulation."

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