In a White House press briefing on Monday, President Trump claimed that he knows “more about drones than anybody.” The self-proclaimed drone expert stressed that the country needs a physical barrier and that “everything else is bells and whistles.”
President Trump tweeted yesterday that drones are “lots of fun,” but only a “good old fashioned wall” works. The tweet went out on the second day of the partial government shutdown after Congress missed a midnight deadline on Friday to reach a compromise with the White House.
Immediately after the G7 meeting in Canada, president Trump flew to Singapore where he arrived yesterday for what some newspapers call a historic meeting between the US and North Korea, also referred to as the Trump-Kim Singapore Summit. This short drone video shows us the Capella Resort on Sentosa Island where the actual meeting will take place.
Governments around the world are becoming increasingly concerned about drone incidents and drone threats. And when you have seen photos or videos of drones being jerry-rigged to drop grenades, you understand why. According to a copy of a legislative proposal obtained by The Washington Post, the Trump administration is seeking authority to intercept drone communications to defend against any possible drone attacks in the U.S. The administration asked Congress to give more powers to the Homeland Security and Justice Departments to track, reroute or destroy drones that are perceived to be a threat.
Drone registration has been reinstated after President Trump signed the $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the requirement for drones weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds to be registered with the FAA in order to be flown legally in the U.S. With the number of drone incidents steadily increasing the registration requirement does not come as a surprise.
Yesterday, President Trump gave the ‘green light’ to US cities and states to work together with tech companies to accelerate and increase the number of drone tests across the United States. The “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot” program as it is called, was announced in a new memorandum released by the White House on Wednesday.
Trump signed the memorandum directing, Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation to create a pilot program that allows local, state and tribal governments to apply to establish test areas, possibly as large as an entire state, where extensive drone testing can take place. As part of this program, at least five trial programs are expected to be started within the next three years. All trials will be subject to FAA approval.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released b-roll video footage showing various prototypes of the border wall Trump promised during his campaign. The video is shot from a drone that flies over the various wall prototypes and like Matt Novak from Gizmodo points out: “the drone video of border wall prototypes accidently shows how worthless the wall would be.” Trump said that the purpose of the wall was to stop: “drugs from pouring into this country”. However, any affordable and easily obtainable consumer drone would have no problem flying over the wall to drop drugs on the other side.