[Ed. – The Air Force claims that some of these drones have come close to colliding with $250 million fighter jets. But do they have a case?]
The head of the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command wants permission to deal with civilian drones — including shooting them down — that threaten to interfere with flight operations. Two recent incidents, one involving an F-22 Raptor, have shown the military to be relatively defenseless against this potentially expensive nuisance.
General James Holmes, the head of Air Combat Command, was quoted by Aviation Weekdescribing two recent incidents. In one, an F-22 Raptor coming in for a landing nearly collided with a small, commercial unmanned aerial drone. The same week, Air Force security personnel watched as a civilian drone flew over the base perimeter and along the flight line before disappearing.
Flying drones over air bases in the United States is already illegal, but actually taking action against them, including disabling or shooting them down, is a federal matter and currently only federal civilian agencies can jam drones.