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Ogden Police Want Blimp for Surveillance – FAA Says No for Now

Ogden police want blimp-but not like this one
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Saying they need it to monitor “suspicious activity,” the Ogden Police want a blimp.We wonder exactly what kind of “suspicious activity” could be taking place in Ogden, Utah, but apparently the police think they need one. Police want to use the blimp during nighttime hours over high crime areas in the city with surveillance camera footage streamed back to police headquarters.

Initially, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) denied the request, but not for privacy reasons. They told Ogden Police that because the blimp would not be under constant live visual supervision by a ground officer,  it would pose a safety hazard to the airspace over the city.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital watchdog group, has been closely monitoring the flood of drone applications and testing being done by law enforcement — even private groups — who want little airplanes or blimps gliding over the public’s heads.

More and more blimps are being considered because, unlike drones, they are quiet and often undetected.   How long will it be before we start seeing such objects over the skies of the Tri-Cities?

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