FAA Legislation Prompts Agency to Assess Safety of Drones in US Airspace

In the Re-Authorization Bill for the Federal Aviation Administration, Congress has required the agency to develop rules governing the operation of drones within U.S. National Airspace. Currently, the only barriers to operation of unmanned aircraft are procedural requirements that oblige drone operators to obtain operation certificates. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 requires the agency to conduct a public rule-making that will assess public safety concerns, licensing requirements, flight standards, and air traffic requirements. The FAA Secretary will also undertake safety studies and develop standards for "Safe Operation" in US airspace. However, the legislation does not consider the need to assess the privacy risks of the deployment of drones in US airspace. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones.

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