Police in the U.K. plan to expand the county’s CCTV system with military-style spy drones. These unmanned spy drones have previously been deployed in Afghanistan. The drones are programed to take off and land on their own and are able to remain airborne for as long as 15 hours at a height of up to 20,000 feet.
The drones’ ability to reach such high altitude has raised concerns from the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority, which regulates airspace. The division is hesitant to allow the UAVs to fly in normal airspace because of the risk of colliding with airplanes. However, the “sense and avoid” technology for the drones are only a few years away.
In any case, the police want to have these new systems set up in place in time for the 2012 Olympics. But they also plan on using it beyond that to monitor anti-social driving, road and railway monitoring, search and rescue, event security and covert urban surveillance. Furthermore, the police are even considering the possibility of making money from the drones by allowing commercial companies to use their surveillance capabilities.
(via the Guardian)