The government continues to delay in passing a comprehensive set of rules addressing drones, and it is unlikely to have anything until 2017.
In August, the Federal Aviation Administration missed a key deadline for developing rules for small commercial drones, which in turn infuriated the businesses who were looking to use it for product delivery services, according to the Washington Post.
But the FAA further upset the businesses, who are threatening to take their drone research overseas, because the government entity said it is likely to miss its original September 2015 deadline as well.
“We all agree that the project is taking too long,” Peggy Gilligan, a top FAA safety official, told a congressional House panel Wednesday.
In the meantime, the skies are increasingly more dangerous as the prevalence of drones grows.
Gizmodo reported that the number of drones crashing into airplanes has increased, and a restaurant chain recently caused an accident by flying a mistletoe-bearing drone around a restaurant, which ended when the drone cut a customer’s face open.
But the FAA said it is unable to quickly reach an agreement on a balanced set of rules.
“The consensus of opinion is the integration of unmanned systems will likely slip from the mandated deadline until 2017 or even later,” said Gerald Dillingham, the Government Accountability Office’s director of civil aviation.
Currently there are a few exceptions to the ban on commercial drones, and a couple universities have been approved for research.
But the decision on how to combine a safe airspace with the addition of thousands of small crafts–while keeping an eye on the normal operations and travel of the larger aircraft–is proving to be difficult.
The FAA has already announced some of the ideas, such as requiring pilot licenses to fly drones, but the attention to safety continues to delay a comprehensive set of rules.
Yet, the delay is proving unsafe already as having the system entirely unregulated can cause harm as well.
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