Obama Wants to Take Executive Action to Set Commercial UAV Rules

Posted by Betsy Lillian on July 24, 2014 No Comments
Categories : Policy & Regulations

President Barack Obama is reportedly planning to take action regarding the rules for the country's commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

According to a POLITICO report, the president is to place an executive order with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (part of the Commerce Department) to create a new set of guidelines, or best practices. The administration would join forces with other organizations, such as consumer groups, to do so.

“We don’t have any details to share at this time, but there is an inter-agency process underway,” Ned Price, a spokesperson for the White House, told POLITICO.

When exactly Obama will take this action is yet to be determined, the report says, and the focus will be only on the commercial use of UAVs, rather than government use.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has stated that UAVs must not interfere with manned aircraft, are flown within sight of the operator and are operated only for hobby or recreational purposes. The agency does not authorize commercial operations and has recently deemed several organizations to be breaking the rules, such as Realtors who use UAVs for aerial filming of properties, as well as a search-and-rescue organization.

In April, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the Academy of Model Aeronautics and 31 other organizations sent a letter to the FAA encouraging the agency to expedite the rulemaking process for UAV operations in U.S. airspace.

The letter also called on the agency to allow the limited use of small UAVs for commercial purposes before the final rulemaking is completed.

Read the entire POLITICO report here.

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