A Drone (Operator’s) Strike

July 6, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Drones might be pilot-less aircraft, but they still have human controllers on the ground. The Economist looked at how someday soon we could see those who support drone strikes go…on strike:

  • Despite not actively being in a combat zone the life of a drone pilot is hard – one operator reports having had to work around the clock for five days straight.
  • Not to mention the trauma of laying the groundwork to rain death on other human beings from the sky – the advanced cameras on drones can at times provide a little too much detail into the human lives of the targets.
  • And these aren’t necessarily trained military personnel dealing with these conditions. Civilian pilots are allowed to fly spy planes and maintain the aircraft.
  • Operators used to at least be compensated well for their struggles – salaries started at over $100,000 a year – but due to the sequester and the winding down of America’s wars, wages have fallen.
  • Civilian Drone Operators have thus formed a collective-bargaining organization that promises to stand up for drone-operator rights.

Read more about why there won’t be a military drone operators union, what would cause civilian drone operators to strike, and more over here.

Source: The Economist