FAA attempting to address the rise of the drones
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today released two documents outlining potential plans for their handling of private unmanned drones in an attempt to modernize regulations to include unmanned aircraft from small hobby units to commercial drones used in aerial photography to military drones.
Demand has dramatically increased and the skies play host to more drones, not only for entertainment, but business and military, and the FAA states that they’re hoping to find ways for all to co-exist.
The first document released summarizes the various steps federal agencies must take, and the other outlines steps the FAA itself will take. Currently, these are only proposal drafts, and could shift the FAA from approving unmanned aircraft use on a case-by-case basis, outlining new standards.
Most FAA regulations are currently limited to military airspace and U.S. borders, as well as special uses like forest fire drones and the like, not taking into account private and commercial drones. The documents unveil that the FAA seeks to increase access to airspace in the next five to 10 years, which is great news in the long run, but confusing for now as federal regulations do not address things such as aerial photography drones.
“Government and industry face significant challenges as unmanned aircraft move into the aviation mainstream,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. These updates are important steps forward that will “help stakeholders understand the operational goals and safety issues we need to consider when planning for the future of our airspace.”
The FAA is expected to release the names of the six sites where they will test safe integration of both manned and unmanned aircraft, as ordered by Congress.