Brewster County Passes New Resolution Against Drones - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Brewster County Passes New Resolution Against Drones


Staff Report
NewsWest 9

BREWSTER COUNTY - Brewster County passed a resolution on Monday saying they want drone testing groups to go through them first. Earlier this year, Lone Star Unmanned Aviation went to the city of Alpine's airport to request a launch and recovery site. That was before going to the City of Alpine and Brewster County.

The drone testing topic has been buzzing around the tri-county area since last November. Since then, people have made it clear they don't want any testing for 'eyes in the sky.' But they can't control where drones choose to fly, according to Presidio County Airport Manager, Chase Snodgrass.

"We actually have no control over any of it. The Federal Aviation Administration has total control. But we believe that local input should have been sought," Snodgrass said.

Brewster County Commissioners approved their resolution moving the agenda item to the front of the meeting. Judge Val Beard read the resolution aloud. 

"Now therefore let it be resolved that this commissioners court finds that public input and public acceptance of any proposed test site for unmanned aircraft systems is essential but the public input and public acceptance are lacking here," Beard said. 

The county resolved that public input must be sought to test drones in Brewster County. At least on the ground. 

Oscar Cobos, a resident of Alpine, with the help of pilots and other locals, drafted the prototype of a resolution that both Presidio and Brewster counties adopted to be strict on drones. 

"I believe the timeframe with the FAA is basically closing in already and this university was not organized and it just happened too fast without due respect for county governments. So really, it's too late in the day for them to approach West Texas in any form or fashion," Cobos said.

Congress in Washington tasked the Federal Aviation Administration to find six testing sites by the end of this year. 

Beard said that low flying drones would disrupt Brewster counties two biggest businesses; tourism and ranching. Both businesses, according to the county, require tranquil space to operate effectively.