The FAA released documents on Thursday which confirmed that drones have been in use on American soil since 2010 and have been used in at least four separate operations.
While drones are normally prohibited from being used in U.S. airspace, the FAA gave special permission to dozens of law enforcement agencies and universities to use the unmanned aircrafts.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said in a testimony in the Senate on Wednesday that the FBI’s use of drones is “in a very, very minimal way and very seldom.” He also stated that the FBI has very few drones and “that our footprint is very small.”
Mueller also revealed that one of the aircrafts was used in February in Alabama during the seven-day hostage standoff involving a young boy, which eventually ended in his captor being killed and the boy being set free.
Additionally, Congress has required the FAA to open U.S airspace to drones by 2015.