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Spying? Delivering? No, these drones are racing

The numbers of pilots and spectators involved in drone racing is growing each year. ... Read more»

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Firefighters add drone incursions to threats faced in a wildfire

Firefighters battling the Goodwin Fire in central Arizona had to suspend operations twice in one week after drones flew into airspace over the blaze.... Read more»

Arizona wildfire crews battling 30 blazes, 'spread thin' across state

Since January 1, 858 wildfires have burned more than 130,000 acres across Arizona and on Sunday, the Department of Forestry and Fire Management announced that fire crews are now battling 30 wildfires throughout the state — including the nearly 15,000-acre Lizard Fire near Tucson.... Read more»1

Do new FAA drone rules go far enough for Arizonans?

The Federal Aviation Administration last week released new rules for commercial drone pilots, but one local unmanned aircraft enthusiast said the agency is focused on regulating the wrong group of users.... Read more»

Tucson sting grounds smuggling of drone tech to Pakistani military

An undercover operation by Homeland Security agents thwarted a Pakistani man's attempt to buy gyroscopes and other electronics from a Tucson-based company and export them under falsified documents to Pakistan for use in that country's military drone program. ... Read more»

McCain demands DHS deploy military drones to patrol border

U.S. Sen. John McCain wants military drones, flown during Air Force training missions in Arizona, to begin patrolling the border. In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, McCain demanded that DHS ask the Pentagon for support to "combat drug trafficking and secure the U.S.-Mexico border."... Read more»

BP: Agents intercept drone-dropped drugs for first time

Yuma Station border agents intercepted drugs delivered across the border by a drone near San Luis in what officials said was the first such incident resulting in a seizure. ... Read more»

Feds shooting down local drone bans

FAA officials told state and local authorities last week that only the federal government has the ability to regulate remote-controlled aircraft. This week, Pima County reiterated a ban on drones in public parks — a policy they said isn't a violation of the federal regulations.... Read more»1

Despite downward trend, Arizona still sees 30% of border narcotics busts

Drug seizures have declined 17 percent in the past year along the Arizona-Mexico border, but nearly a million pounds were still intercepted in the state — nearly one-third of all narcotics intercepted by federal border authorities.... Read more»

Pima County: Parks still a no-fly zone for drones

Gates Pass at sunset isn't the place for that drone you might find under the Christmas tree, Pima County officials said. Radio-controlled aircraft, including quadcopters and other drones, have been prohibited in county parks and open space areas for years.... Read more»

Scientists tracking invasive buffelgrass with drones

Researchers using drones to track the spread of buffelgrass, an invasive species originally from Africa that poses a threat to desert wildlife. “It spreads fast, it’s a fire hazard, it steals the water that the native plants need and it can create a monoculture, capable of really changing our Sonoran Desert ecosystem,” said Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club.... Read more»

FAA: 22 reports of drones near other aircraft in Az

Spurred by rising reports of encounters between drones and other aircraft, the FAA wants to require drone registration.... Read more»

States rush to regulate drones ahead of federal guidelines

States want to regulate how companies, citizens and police can use drones in everything from delivery services to law enforcement surveillance. Critics say airspace regulations should be left up to the Federal Aviation Administration and argue limits on drone use could stifle innovation. ... Read more»

Lost migrants rescued by Predator drone crew

Pilots flying a Predator drone out of Sierra Vista for Customs and Border Protection are credited with rescuing three migrants lost in the desert earlier this month, authorities said. ... Read more»

Real estate agents buzzing about drones

A Tucson real estate agent is the first person to obtain an exemption from the FAA to fly a drone specifically for real-estate marketing. Draft guidelines issued this week could open the door for more real-estate professionals to use the technology.... Read more»

Advocates welcome FAA’s proposed rules on commercial drones

Backers say the proposed rules could open the door to a multibillion-dollar industry of commercial drone use, for jobs as varied as inspecting infrastructure to farming to movie making. The proposal was years in the making, and it will be months before they can take effect. ... Read more»

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