FAA Catching Up To Drone Technology

Fox News reports that the FAA says it’s finally ‘catching up’ to drone technology; several programs in the works.

Drones were once seen as the ultimate hazards in the highway of the skies, especially for commercial aviation. Arbitrary and archaic rules ran roughshod over an emerging industry full of potential. Many drone pilots and tech experts wondered when, if at all, would government regulatory agencies catch up.

This year, a new program, however, is taking hold in 10 regions across the country to do just that: letting the FAA catch up with the drone industry by fast-tracking projects in the hopes of creating a future regulatory framework.

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It’s all about integration between private partners and government entities facilitated by the FAA. It’s called the Integration Pilot Program (IPP), which was announced last year in a memo by the Trump Administration and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. It is seeking advances on many fronts.

Meant as a fast-track to foster opportunities for a variety of drone uses that might be currently out of bounds of regular flight, IPP works with government entities to better instruct and inform possible future regulations as drone flights take off.

Acting Administrator of the FAA, Dan Elwell, recently spoke at Interdrone, a trade conference for the industry in Las Vegas. He lauded the efforts of the program and highlighted how drones are now a constant presence in the daily workflow of the agency.

“To be engaged in one new entrant piece, which is drones, on almost a daily basis, tells you how much attention is being paid to drone space,” said Elwell.

The program’s partners are using drones in creative and innovative ways. They include mosquito mitigation in Florida to curb the Zika virus, feral hog population containment on the Choctaw Nation reserve in Oklahoma, and delivery in real time of defibrillators to victims who didn’t have access to them in Reno, Nev. Continue reading about drone technology and the FAA.

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