Senators Budd & Kelly Introduce Bill to Improve Tracking of High Altitude Balloons

Senators Ted Budd (R-NC) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) have introduced the bipartisan Seeing Objects at Altitude Regularly (SOAR) Act. The bill requires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue new regulations to require that all high-altitude balloons operating 10,000 feet above sea level be equipped with a tracking system that will transmit the balloon’s altitude, identity, and location. The legislation also requires the FAA to work with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to develop equivalent standards for high-altitude balloons launched elsewhere in the world. The new bill comes after the federal government’s response to four unknown aerial objects over North America, including one Chinese surveillance balloon, which were shot down by U.S. fighter jets.

Author: Mike Jackson