No Pilot Program: Houston Police to Test Unmanned Aircraft

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HOUSTON -- Police in the Houston and Miami-Dade departments have been chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration to test the use of unmanned aircraft in urban environments.

The two police forces will help the FAA set flight guidelines and training needs during the testing period.

Houston police executive assistant chief Martha Montalvo says officials have considered using remote-controlled aircraft for spotting traffic hazards and in search and rescue missions.

The department's helicopter pilots will be assigned to the unmanned aircraft duties.

Houston police will use aircraft provided by Insitu Inc. of Bingen, Wash., at no cost to the department.

The aircraft can cost from several thousand dollars to more than a million depending on complexity and capabilities.