Are you ready for the drones?

Posted at: 02/25/2013 12:10 PM
Updated at: 02/25/2013 7:57 PM
By: Berkeley Brean

There is a proposal to test fly drones in upstate New York. RIT is the lead university and part of a large group bidding to be one of the sites around the country to conduct drone testing. When most hear the word drone, we generally think about spy planes, missiles and the military.  But there are plenty of non-military uses too.
News10NBC was told that if upstate New York becomes a test site, the drones will only fly over the restricted airspace above and around Fort Drum, that's north of Water town. But the domestic drone skills they're trying to develop could bring them here.

When you hear the word drone, you think of a stealth weapon of war whose results are on tape. But a proposal, lead in part by RIT, wants to test drones in upstate New York.

Don Rehkopf, attorney, “They're probably a necessary evil.”

Don Rehkoph is an attorney and an expert on civil rights. He says drones flying over Rochester would not violate your rights.

News10NBC's Berkeley Brean said, “What about if you're just sitting in your backyard?”

Rehkopf said, “If you're sitting in your back yard, even as we speak, satellites go over head and they can take images and record your license plate.”

The group bidding to make New York a test site is called Nuair. News10NBC asked its operations director if the test flights will happen over Rochester.

Robert Knauff, Nuair, said, “It is in our interest and the public's interest that the testing take place in airspace that is already protected. So no one in Rochester or western New York will be seeing these things flying over their back yard. The testing will not happen there.”

RIT is the lead university for Nuair. The proposal says this kind of technology could mean 23,000 jobs and millions of dollars. But drones flying in new york?

Victoria Gleason said, “I don't think that it's an invasion of my privacy because airplanes fly over our houses.”

Anthony Martella said, “That kind of technology in the wrong hands, probably not such a good idea.”

If you're concerned about privacy, attorney Don Rehkoph had pretty simple advice. If you don't want someone to see something, don't have it outside.