28 Nov '13, 3pm

Small Drones Deserve Sensible Regulation

Small Drones Deserve Sensible Regulation

It’s no secret that the United States may be losing its edge in civilian aviation. Nowhere is this more apparent than with small unmanned aircraft, those tiny flying robots that promise to transform agriculture, forestry, pipeline monitoring, filmmaking, and more. While many other countries are racing to develop and use such drones, U.S. innovators remain more or less stuck on the starting line, mired in federal indecision and red tape. At the recent Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference , at New York University, one speaker imagined what would happen if the Wright brothers were to face such restrictions today: Moments before takeoff, a black Chevy Suburban would pull up, federal agents would jump out, and they would halt the ill-conceived experiment for safety reasons. While such intervention seems oddly reasonable today, government safety mandates are now being extended ...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/small-drones-...

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