WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Enhanced Protection from Unmanned Aircraft Attacks Act Thursday, legislation designed to better protect Americans from malicious drone usage.
“Drones already benefit this nation in so many ways, and I know Americans will keep coming up with new ways for them to help us,” Sen. Lee said. “Unfortunately, there are also those who use this technology for malicious purposes, and law enforcement needs the manpower to counter this threat.”
Currently, Congress has granted exclusive and limited authority to detect and take down drones to only the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and Department of Energy.
According to a Blue Ribbon Task Force Report commissioned by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), one challenge in meeting current drone threats is the federal government’s lack of human resources or capital to invest in and operate counter-drone technology at airports. When you consider this issue beyond the airport environment, the challenge becomes even greater.
The Enhanced Protection from Unmanned Aircraft Attacks Act would extend the existing counter-drone authority of the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and Department of Energy to allow them to contract with private companies for this work. It would require an update of the Federal Acquisition Regulations within 180 days to reflect the updated counter-drone contract authority.