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FAA To Conduct Unique Drone Testing At DIA

By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) - Unique drone testing is going on at Denver International Airport. The only other testing like it has been done at JFK Airport in New York and at Atlantic City Airport. Now testing is looking at how to identify and control drones near airliners in Denver.

Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport (credit: CBS)

"Unmanned aircraft that enter the protected airspace around airports can pose a serious threat to safety," the Federal Aviation Administration said in a press release. "The FAA is working to evaluate new technologies for detecting unmanned aircraft near airports. The FAA and Department of Homeland Security will be conducting research in the vicinity of Denver International Airport this week, which could result in people seeing small unmanned aircraft in that area."

(credit: CBS)

Reports say Mark Gibson, the FAA senior advisor on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, told a convention last week that testing would take place in Denver involving NASA's efforts to develop ways to identify and control drones and also manage their traffic.

"Essentially what they're trying to do is make it if there's some kind of an accident caused by a drone they can find out who it belonged to," said Sid Vega, a drone expert at Colpars Hobbytown in Lakewood. "You need to be in control at all times so the technology is definitely faster than what the government can get going. That's the nature of the beast."

Sid Vega, a drone expert at Colpars Hobbytown in Lakewood
Sid Vega, a drone expert at Colpars Hobbytown in Lakewood fly a drone (credit: CBS)

The FAA is expected to announce more on what was tested and how they went on Wednesday.

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he's been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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