In response to the commercial drones revolution, the FAA grapples with a host of new challenges. Congress has empowered the agency to develop policies for drones to operate in U.S. airspace, but there are serious questions about what’s realistic and enforceable.
Many New Drone Applications Being Considered
Consider the many applications of commercial drones:
- Making deliveries directly from a warehouse to a consumer on the other side of the state.
- Conducting visual inspection and photography around factory sites to aid in maintenance.
- Providing internet connectivity by serving as an extension of a city’s wireless networks.
Today, the FAA requires drone operators to be licensed pilots. The agency has an exception process for commercial drone operators, requiring each to be issued a Certificate of Exemption – but it's a cumbersome workaround to rules from the pre-drone era.
The Time for Drone Manufacturers is Now
Drones are the smallest, most versatile devices ever to make a claim on airspace – and they challenge the patchwork of state and municipal rules that have developed throughout aviation’s modern history.
As officials scratch their heads, drone manufacturers and integrators have a huge role to play. Not only do they have the opportunity to respond to unprecedented market demand, but they can use vision components to develop devices that help ensure safety in the sky.
Drones have immense potential to change the way things are done across many industries. Next-gen vision technology means commercial drones can be safe and effective while fitting into more commercial niches than ever. A growing market means the time is right for groundbreaking innovation.