Commercial use of sUAS in the USA just moved further into the future. The NPRM process has now been moved to the 6th of January 2012 with the comment period ending 5th of April 2012
About the rulemaking
This rulemaking would enable small unmanned aircraft to safely operate in limited portions of the national airspace system (NAS). This action is necessary because it addresses the novel legal or policy issues about the minimum safety parameters for operating recreational remote control model and toy aircraft in the NAS. The intended effect of this action is to develop requirements and standards to ensure that risks are adequately mitigated, such that safety is maintained for the entire aviation community.
This might be the last nail in the coffin for several sUAS start up companies that are willing the FAA to get on with it and make some decisions. It allows larger companies with none of the skills but deeper pockets more time to prepare to enter the market.
Many photography sUAS are operating outside of the law in the USA and no enforcement action is being taken by the FAA. Perhaps they are looking the other way whilst they themselves cannot decide what is to be done.
Australia and the UK have allowed commercial operation of sUAS for a couple of years now. Both countries are gaining real experience of controlling and growing these activities. Could the FAA not just adopt rules that are already working?
Last time the date changed we stated we would withdraw the counter it happened again. Guess they have called our bluff. From the outside it looks like a joke event so its certainly no longer worth real estate on this site.
If we were setting up an sUAS technology of any sort in the USA we would have to say go West young man, keep going all the way to China or further to Europe but don’t try in an environment where your hands are tied.