NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Describing New York City as the “Wild West” for drone activity, Sen. Charles Schumer called on federal officials Sunday to speed up regulations for the small, remote-controlled aircraft.
Schumer said drones pose a threat to safety and privacy. They have interfered with airspace, been used to spy on people and been used to deliver drugs, the New York Democrat said.
“This year, a drone was caught flying into a maximum security prison in South Carolina carrying marijuana,” Schumer told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola and 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck.
The senator said drones have gained in popularity since a court case limited the federal government’s ability to regulate their use.
Schumer said the FAA and Commerce Department are supposed to come up with regulations by September 2015, but he said that’s not soon enough.
“Do we want it to be perfectly legal that someone can send a drone and peer into our living room or bedroom window?” Schumer said. “Don’t we want to make sure that drones don’t collide with commercial aircraft and helicopters?”
Drones have recently caused a couple of scares in New York City.
Last month, two men were arrested on reckless endangerment charges after allegedly flying a drone too close to an NYPD helicopter near the George Washington Bridge.
“We want to make sure two things are not interfered with with these drones: one is safety and the second is our right to privacy,” Schumer said Sunday.
Police have also had incidents with drones over Times Square during Super Bowl festivities and near Citi Field.
“It’s a fairly new phenomenon,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence John Miller said last month. “This is a bit of a toy for people who have time on their hands and maybe too much money. But it’s a toy that you have to be very careful with.”
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