Federal Aviation Administration

Essential Pittsburgh
5:21 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A Drone...Is Pittsburgh Ready?

Credit unten44 / flickr

On June 26, cameras at PNC Park caught a mysterious flying object hovering over the field during a Pirates game. The object hung in the night sky with a blinking light and several propellers whirling.

It didn’t take long for the commentators to surmise that this UFO was actually a remote controlled drone, whose owner was soon spotted walking on the North Shore.

Police almost immediately forced the man to ground his flying camera, and the FAA launched an investigation the week after.

Drones are becoming a bigger part of the everyday lives of American citizens, especially in a city famous for its robotic creations. Joining us to look at the role drones will play in our future is Illah Nourbaksh, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University and author of the recently released book Robot Futures. He explained what made the drone over PNC Park different from the remote controlled toy helicopters we've seen marketed for years.

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Laser Safety
9:00 am
Mon June 9, 2014

FBI Launches Campaign to Prevent Lasers from Disrupting Flights

Toy lasers might seem harmless enough, but that cheap gadget could momentarily blind a pilot of a plane with hundreds of passengers – even if it’s thousands of feet overhead.

That’s according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is launching a campaign to prevent such disasters from happening.

Pointing a laser into an airplane is a federal offense with a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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Government & Politics
3:42 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

FAA OK's Pittsburgh Airport Gas Drilling

The Federal Aviation Administration has ruled that Consol Energy's plans to drill for natural gas at the Pittsburgh International Airport won't have a significant environmental impact.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Thursday that the Allegheny County Airport Authority confirmed that the FAA report was issued this week.

Consol, a Cecil-based company, plans to drill for natural gas on about 9,000 acres of county-owned land, and says the wells will be a safe distance away from runways and other airport operations.