FAA lists show agencies able to use drones

WASHINGTON – They’re watching you, or at least soon they will be.

Arlington County Police are among the government agencies and other organizations the Federal Aviation Administration has cleared to operate unmanned aerial drones.

FAA recently released lists of organizations, agencies and manufacturers that have sought authorization to fly drones. Among these include Virginia Tech and the Arlington police. Montomgery County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia Commonwealth University had been cleared, but they are currently listed as “expired.”

The first full list, available below, also includes police departments in several states.

The second list shows manufacturers seeking permission to test-fly drones, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the lists.

Here is a map of domestic drone applicants, color-coded by status:

View Map of Domestic Drone Authorizations in a larger map

Organizations Allowed to Use Drones

Manufacturer Applicants

Some members of Congress have questioned the implications for Americans’ privacy.

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., recently co-wrote a letter with Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, to the FAA asking the agency to outline what privacy protections have been implemented in connection with drones.

WTOP’s Mitchell Miller contributed to this story. Follow Mitchell and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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