"Attack of the Drones
Airborne Eyes Peer at the City
In New York City, someone's always looking down on you.
Low-tech, miniature versions of battlefield drones have come to the boroughs. Only here, they are controlled mostly by hobbyists and photographers, not soldiers shooting insurgents from the sky.
There are only 282 official permits to fly drones nationwide, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. They range from $4.5 million jets that can fly for two days without landing, to hand-launched helicopters that fit in a book bag.
The FAA would not say if any of these permits have been issued in New York City.
But the number of drones patrolling the nation's skies is expected to "explode" if the agency, as expected in December, relaxes restrictions on law enforcement for aircraft weighing 4.4 pounds or less.
Until then, hobbyists are the only people who can launch unmanned aircraft without a permit, as long as devices aren't being used to make money, said an FAA spokesman. They're supposed to fly below 400 feet."