Notes on FAA policy; present and future
From the FAA's "Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Roadmap"
"Ultimately, UAS must be integrated into the NAS without reducing existing capacity, decreasing safety, negatively impacting current operators, or increasing the risk to airspace users or persons and property on the ground any more than the integration of comparable new and novel technologies....
A key activity of the FAA is to develop regulations, policy, procedures, guidance material, and training requirements to support safe and efficient UAS operations in the NAS, while coordinating with relevant departments and agencies to address related key policy areas of concern such as privacy and national security. Today, UAS are typically given access to airspace through the issuance of Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COA) to public operators and special airworthiness certificates in the experimental category for civil applicants. Accommodating UAS operations by the use of COAs and special airworthiness certificates will transition to more routine integration processes when new or revised operating rules and procedures are in place and UAS are capable of complying with them. The FAA has a proven certification process in place for aircraft that includes establishing special conditions when new and unique technologies are involved. This process will be used to evaluate items unique to UAS. In those parts of the NAS that have demanding communications, navigation, and surveillance performance requirements, successful demonstration of UAS to meet these requirements will be necessary....
Removing the pilot from the aircraft creates a series of performance considerations between manned and unmanned aircraft that need to be fully researched and understood to determine acceptability and potential impact on safe operations in the NAS."
Just a few highlights from the 70+ page report regarding integration of drones into the national airspace for civil and commercial purposes. Just recently (11/6/2013) the US Dept. of Transportation issued their Unmanned Aircraft Systems Comprehensive Plan. It can be found HERE
- Shawn R