Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
February 25, 2013
On February 19, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a fact sheet reporting that it has granted 1,428 drone licenses to entities in the United States. Of those, 327 are designated active.
There is no legal restriction on who can request a license to fly a drone and the FAA statement claims that typical purposes for the unmanned vehicles include “law enforcement, firefighting, border patrol, disaster relief, search and rescue, military training, and other government operational missions.”
The FAA is hurrying to get all the licenses processed in order to meet the September 2015 deadline set by Congress for releasing the drones over the United States.
While there is no consensus on the number of drones that soon will begin buzzing over cities and towns in the United States, estimates range from 10,000 to 30,000 of the powerful surveillance craft may begin their patrol in the domestic skies.