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.”