A recent Washington Post article by Peter Finn contains the following statement:-
For now, the use of drones for high-risk operations is exceedingly rare. The Federal Aviation Administration – which controls the national airspace – requires the few police departments with drones to seek emergency authorization if they want to deploy one in an actual operation. Because of concerns about safety, it only occasionally grants permission.
But by 2013, the FAA expects to have formulated new rules that would allow police across the country to routinely fly lightweight, unarmed drones up to 400 feet above the ground – high enough for them to be largely invisible eyes in the sky.
Rumours abound! Patrick wrote about them last year
Without doubt sUAS are becoming mainstream news items almost every week now.
Heres Patricks other articles about regulation.
Its been a long road for the USA, but perhaps the end is in sight and sUAS really will take off, and yes a pun intended.