Senator Edward J. Markey has some serious concerns about drones and the risks they could potentially pose to passenger aircraft and he is not happy with the FAA. He has sent a letter to the FAA asking for details on exactly how the organization is preventing potential collisions.
“All it takes is one drone to fly into the path of one passenger jet and a disaster can ensue,” Markey wrote to FAA head Michael P. Huerta. “We must take action before a catastrophe like this happens.”
Markey cited an increasing number of reports in recent months of drones flying close to passenger planes and near airports around the country, including relatively close to runways at Logan International Airport.
While not everyone can get the FAA to response, it’s very likely that Senator Markey can as he is a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which oversees aviation operations and safety.
In my humble opinion, one outstanding question remains, how accurate are the near collision numbers? We have seen some major disparities here.
About Senator Edward J. Markey
Edward John “Ed” Markey (born July 11, 1946) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who is the junior United States Senator from Massachusetts, in office since 2013. From 1976 to 2013 he served as the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’s 5th congressional district. He previously served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1973 to 1976.
Markey is a liberal who has focused on energy policy and was Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007 to 2011. In 2013, after John Kerry was appointed United States Secretary of State, he was elected to serve out the balance of Kerry’s sixth Senate term in a 2013 special election. Markey defeated socially conservative Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary and Republican Gabriel E. Gomez in the general election. When he left the House, he was its eighth most senior member. In 2014 Markey was elected to a full six-year Senate term. He is the dean of the Massachusetts congressional delegation and the second longest-serving current member of Congress from New England, behind Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.