December 3, 2012
Frustrated commercial drone companies say the Obama administration is falling further and further behind in meeting congressional demands to clear the path for full integration into American airspace by 2015. Billions of dollars of investments as well as commercial applications for drones could be caught up in the delay, they warn.
The Federal Aviation Administration is now citing “privacy issues” associated with drones as the reason for the delay. The agency appears likely to miss its self-imposed Dec. 31 deadline to choose six sites in states throughout the country where the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would be put through a battery of safety and other tests before full commercialization would be allowed.
Industry leaders argue that the FAA has missed the mark by focusing too much on the privacy and Fourth Amendment concerns associated with drones, and instead should return to its core mission of maintaining safety in the nation’s skies.