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Is there a drone in your neighbourhood? Rise of spy planes exposed after FAA is forced to reveal 63 launch sites across U.S.
April 24, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
There are at least 63 active drone sites around the U.S, federal authorities have been forced to reveal following a landmark Freedom of Information lawsuit.
The unmanned planes - some of which may have been designed to kill terror suspects - are being launched from locations in 20 states.
Most of the active drones are deployed from military installations, enforcement agencies and border patrol teams, according to the Federal Aviation Authority.
But, astonishingly, 19 universities and colleges are also registered as owners of what are officially known as unmanned aerial vehicles.
It is thought that many of institutions, which include Cornell, the University of Colorado, Georgia Tech, and Eastern Gateway Community College, are developing drone technology.
There are also 21 mainstream manufactures, such as General Atomics, who are registered to use drones domestically.
As well as active locations, the FAA also revealed 16 sites where licences to use spy planes have expired and four where authorisations have been disapproved, such as Otter Tail County, Minnesota.
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