(Source: Biz Journals)
As drone usage expands, that time is coming fast. Google and Amazon are competing to develop fleets of delivery drones (Amazon publicly floated the idea first, but Google recently released footage of autonomous test flights).
An unknown number of people and private companies are experimenting with the technology, as well. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates there could be upwards of 30,000 unmanned aerial vehicles – industry lingo for drones – over American skies by 2020. In light of this, it’s worth considering how these machines will operate around us, particularly in a densely populated area like Boston and its suburbs. With so many drones in the air, there are ample opportunities for crashes and accidents. Already, drones have caused disturbances near airports and prompted gunshots by threatened land owners.
These issues will only become more numerous and complicated as drones fill the skies.
Slowly, those governing details are coming out. Under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, the FAA is scheduled to publish regulations governing unmanned aerial vehicles in 2015. States and towns have started passing legislation and ordinances governing drones, as well. By the time Boston has an armada of drones in its skies, they will have to navigate three or four distinct layers of regulations – federal, state, local, and (in places) private. Here’s a quick look at what those layers will look like and how they’ll interact with each other.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com