Congress and Obama Take On Drones

Dec 30, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Congress is likely to make key decisions in 2015 on how much access drones can have, while the Obama administration is nearing a proposal for rules on commercial drone operations, reports the Associated Press.

“Federal Aviation Administration officials have said they want to release proposed rules before the end of this month, but other government and industry officials say they are likely to be delayed until January,” the story reports. “Meanwhile, except for a small number of companies that have received FAA exemptions, a ban on commercial drone flights remains in place. Even after rules are proposed, it is likely to be two or three years before regulations become final.”

Industry officials believe that’s too long to wait, with the U.S. losing more than $10 billion in annual potential economic benefits from drones, the AP notes, citing the trade group Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

“We in Congress are very interested in UAS,” or unmanned aerial systems, said Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, at a hearing this month. “We understand UAS are an exciting technology with the potential to transform parts of our economy. … It is our responsibility to take a close look.”

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One Comment

  1. I am not a member of the drone industry, nor do I operate a drone. However, I am very interested and have a couple of business ideas for drones. Which won’t see the light of day if the FAA has it’s way.

    One FAA proposal that will definitely kill the nascent drone industry (which any future commercial activities will be based on and, currently, is mostly comprised of hobbyists) is a rule to that would require a drone operator to have pilot’s license. And that’s not a currently-not-existing, special, “drone operator” license. The FAA means an actual pilot’s license with all its requirements.

    Yeah, that’s right… you’ll need to go through the effort and expense of taking flying lessons in a real airplane and pass a flying test… all to be able to operate something you can’t actually fly in. That’s like having to learn and be licensed on how to drive a semi rig in order to operate a remote controlled toy car. BTW, I wonder how long it’s going to take states to realize what a revenue generating opportunity they’re missing out on by not requiring an operator’s license for those.

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