A shocking revelation from the Federal Aviation Administration this week, thanks in part to a very persistent Freedom of Information Act Request. According to the information provided by the FAA, there are at least 63 active launch sites for unmanned spy planes known as "drones" around the United States.
Federal authorities fought tooth and nail to keep this information hidden, but they were ultimately backed into a corner by a landmark Freedom of Information lawsuit. In compliance with the court order, the FAA divulged maps revealing several government sites – including military installations, law enforcement agencies and border patrol barracks – used to house and launch the domestic drones.
The unmanned planes housed at these sites are equipped with razor’s edge surveillance equipment and many are armed to locate and assassinate terror suspects.
Much of the new information released by the FAA confirms long-held suspicions about domestic spying operations. At least 19 universities and colleges are registered operators of unmanned aerial vehicles as well as 21 mainstream manufacturers including the notoriously tight-lipped General Atomics Company.
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It is likely that academic institutions like Cornell, Georgia Tech and the University of Colorado are working to help develop the drone technology used to operate U.S. spy planes.
The FAA also revealed that 16 of the active locations are working with expired drone licenses and four more have had their authorizations disapproved, according to the Daily Mail.