FAA Falling Behind Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Entrepreneurs

Date: December 28, 2015

Slow Pace For Drone Rules Leaves Agency Falling Behind Market

Entrepreneurs are prepared to quickly enter the market for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, that weigh under 55 pounds, but the Federal Aviation Administration is moving slowly on Federal rules to regulate the field. Currently, 2,800 businesses have FAA authorization to fly drones under Section 333 special permits that the agency offers as a temporary fix as it drafts proposed rules to govern their use. The AP reported that “thousands of entrepreneurs across the country want to jump into the potentially lucrative, rapidly growing business,” but are being held back by the FAA’s languid pace, and drone users “worry those delays could hamstring the industry in its infancy.” North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven said many entrepreneurs “are being held back because the FAA is taking so long to finish drone regulations.” Hoeven said, “They need to move more aggressively and catch up because the industry is moving way ahead of them.” Hoeven said that the FAA needs to expedite its rule making process to address safety and privacy issues and not be left behind by the industry.

What This Means For Small Businesses

While the FAA’s rules are expected to provide clear guidelines for safe UAV operation, the agency has failed to keep pace with the rapid development of small drones that have numerous commercial applications. The FAA’s delay is preventing the formation of small businesses and preventing entrepreneurs from providing new services.

Additional Reading

The NFIB has previously reported on the FAA’s rules for small UAVs. KSJR-FM also reported on the burgeoning market for drones and the entrepreneurs who seek to compete.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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