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Dec 2, 2013

FAA has plan for drones, but is behind schedule

Posted by in categories: drones, government, human trajectories, policy

Bart Jansen, USA TODAY 6:18 p.m. EST December 2, 2013

Congress gave the FAA a September 2015 deadline for drones to fly safely with commercial airlines.

The Federal Aviation Administration has a plan for allowing drones to fly everywhere in the country. But research and regulations are months behind the schedule Congress set to have the unmanned devices fly safely with commercial airliners by September 2015.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta released the five-year road map a month ago. It projected 7,500 unmanned aircraft would be in the skies within that period if regulations are in place.

But the FAA faces technical challenges, among them how much training to require of ground-based pilots, how to ensure that drones fly safely if they lose contact with their pilots and how drones and commercial aircraft should warn each other when they’re in the same area.

“The FAA is committed to safe, efficient and timely integration of unmanned aircraft systems into our airspace,” the agency said in a statement Monday. “Over the next several years the FAA will establish regulations and standards for the safe integration of remote piloted (unmanned aircraft) to meet increased demand.”

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