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The FAA Won’t Release Drone Regulations Until 2017, Which Is Absurd and a Problem

Today there’s bad news for Amazon and all the other companies and individuals that are waiting for the FAA drone regulations: They’re not coming until 2017—at the earliest.

Originally targeted for September 2015, the Government Accountability Office now says that it will realistically take about two more years to finalize the FAA’s plan for drones. According to the Washington Post, the GAO’s director of civil aviation Gerald Dillingham said, “The consensus of opinion is the integration of unmanned systems will likely slip from the mandated deadline until 2017 or even later.” Even later??

FAA safety official Peggy Gilligan said at a congressional House panel Wednesday that there is a regulation proposal under executive review, but it will need a public comment period and months of revisions before it’s ready for prime time. Rep. Tom Massie, R-Ky., noted that the effort is moving forward on a “geological time scale.”

Drones pose significant safety risks, and it’s reassuring that the FAA is taking its regulatory job seriously, but this is ridiculous. While the agency tries to figure out what to do, everyone else is finding ways to move ahead with drone use on an individual or industry scale. If the FAA waits too long to implement regulations it will at best stifle innovation and at worst struggle to maintain authority.

If you would like to learn more about drones, register to attend one of the ATI courses below.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Sensing, Payloads & Products Jan 26-29, 2015 Boston, MA

Unmanned Air Vehicle Design Feb 17-19, 2015 Columbia, MD

Unmanned Aircraft System Fundamentals Feb 24-26, 2015 Columbia, MD

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Commercial drones coming to skies near you!

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers the following courses on Unmanned Aircraft Technology:

Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Sensing, Payloads & Products Sep 15-18, 2014 Dayton, OH
Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Sensing, Payloads & Products Nov 3-6, 2014 Columbia, MD
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Guidance & Control On Site Your Facility
Unmanned Air Vehicle Design Nov 11-13, 2014 Dayton, OH
Unmanned Air Vehicle Design Feb 17-19, 2015 Columbia, MD
Unmanned Aircraft System Fundamentals Feb 24-26, 2015 Columbia, MD

The news below should be of interest to our readers.

Although drones seem to be in wide use elsewhere, the Federal Aviation Administration is nervous about letting U.S. skies fill up with them, citing safety and privacy concerns. The FAA already fined a photographer $10,000 for taking commercial pictures of a university by drone. It was overturned in court, but the FAA is appealing the decision.

Meanwhile, real estate agents are having a field day, literally, flying drones over houses to show buyers a different perspective, ignoring the fact that this is against the law.

Amazon head Jeff Bezos says he foresees the day when an Amazon order is delivered in 30 minutes by drone. Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s the “Divergent” series from Amazon. He has teamed up with three drone manufacturers to lobby for government permission.

Those less-than-reputable journalists who try to invade private weddings, bar mitzvahs and celebrity birthday parties would love to use drones anywhere they want to get pictures.

Film producers see great potential in using drones to get aerial shots with far less cost and risk.

Not so fast, say U. S. regulators, including the FAA and Department of Transportation.  Congress wants regulations ready by September 2015. But nobody expects that deadline to be met.

Canada, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom are far ahead of the U.S. in commercial drone use.

While American hobbyists fly drones (not near airports or higher than 400 feet), most Americans seem to be leery of weird unidentified objects buzzing over their heads.

Read more here.

What is your opinion on this issue?  Please comment below.

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